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A Fire in a Burlesque Theatre (1904)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama | March 1904 (USA)
A man runs out the stage door of a burlesque theater, followed by billowing smoke. Firefighters run up. One places a ladder up to a second-story window beside the door, and he helps several... See full summary »
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Storyline

A man runs out the stage door of a burlesque theater, followed by billowing smoke. Firefighters run up. One places a ladder up to a second-story window beside the door, and he helps several women wearing burlesque costumes to climb down. On the other side of the door, a firefighter coaxes a woman out of a window. Two fire fighters enter the building and emerge soon after carrying a woman who has collapsed, overcome by smoke. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Drama

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Not Rated
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March 1904 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Of Some Interest For Its Deliberate Catering to Audience Tastes
9 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

This short, otherwise unremarkable feature is of some interest because of the way that it unabashedly caters to the tastes that it perceived in its audiences. Besides combining the elements of the risqué 'blue' movies of the era with the popularity of movies about fires, it also attempted to use the combination to get extra mileage out of it.

The movie's title summarizes the setup, and most of the footage shows firefighters using ladders to rescue stage girls, clad in portions of their costumes, from an upper level. Although it all seems pretty tame by today's standards, it no doubt provided its male viewers with some brief moments of excitement as the various women hurried down the ladders with their costumes in disarray.

In itself, it would now have little power either to excite or to provoke indignation. The main interest that it holds now is as an example of the many movies of its time that willingly used this kind of material, and that obviously found an audience.


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