A Fool and His Money (1912) Poster

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Putting It Together
boblipton9 June 2006
Alice Guy -- she is usually called Alice Guy-Blaché, even though her career pre- and post-dated her marriage to Herbert Blaché -- was, arguably, the first movie director, even if no one thought to call it that for a dozen years after she first took the job. She came to the US about 1910 to open an American branch, stayed to direct for her own company and prospered for a few years until her career petered out. This wasn't because she was a woman, but simply that technique continued to advance so rapidly that no one could stand the pace for more than about twenty years, until the Studio system made the job more manageable.

Along the way she directed this comedy, arguably the first with an all-Black (or Afro-American or whatever phrase you wish to use) cast. It is a well-performed comedy for the era. As all of Alice Guy's movies are, it is subtly played, although being a comedy, there are a few ridiculous touches -- the men wear boutonnières the size of sunflowers. It concerns the profligate ways of Sam Jones, played by James Russell, who finds a billfold with a lot of money, and runs through it in short order.

A nicely done effort for the era. If all you have seen from this period is D.W. Griffith, give this a try and see if it is interesting.
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