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Comic Costume Race (1896)

Amongst the most interesting of these is that representing the scene of the music hall sports at Herne-Hill. The particular event depicted is the costume race, and the manner in which the ... See full summary »

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Amongst the most interesting of these is that representing the scene of the music hall sports at Herne-Hill. The particular event depicted is the costume race, and the manner in which the competitors scramble into their fancy dresses and tear down the course causes the heartiest merriment.

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Documentary | Short

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14 December 1896 (UK)  »

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Comic Costume Race was shot on 14 July 1896 at the Music Hall Sports event at Herne Hill, South London. See more »

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Not an Olympic Event
19 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

1896 was the year that Robert W. Paul began to produce a lot of films for the growing British market. It was also the year that the modern Olympics were revived. That was in Athens, however. Nor has this event ever been one of the Olympic Games: not officially, anyway, although since the introduction of synchronized swimming, I'm not ruling anything out.

Some men run towards the camera on a field marked with lanes. When they reach mid-closeup distance, they stop at what look like wicker picnic baskets, open them up and start to put on the clown garbs within, then run back to their starting points.

It's a simple camera setup shot in one continuous take. At this stage, this was how films were shot and composed. It's an amusing, very short film and bog-standard for its era.


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