1800 Film

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The Films of the1800s

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The Century in Review

There's really not a lot there for comparison prior to 1900 however there are some brilliant shorts showcasing early editing and early special effects. You can see the development of the jump cut and the use of painted backdrops. Since very few of these films run to a reasonable length, it's easy to find and watch them on YouTube but it's hard to get a real glimpse of life in the late 1800s out of them.


My Top Picks

  1. Santa Claus (1898): Absolutely stunning special effects in this one.
  2. Kiss in the Tunnel, The (1899): One of the earliest examples of film editing with the aim of telling a coherent story.
  3. Astronomer's Dream, The (La lune à un mètre) (1898): Where would a list like this be without George Méliès. It doesn't make a lot of sense but it uses animated backgrounds and a great moon prop.


Notable Mentions ("Surprise" Films)

  1. The Vanishing Lady (1896)
  2. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop (1878) - Essentially the first film with motion (it's done with still photographs being strung together)
  3. Niagara Falls (1897) - It hasn't changed much in all this time. Still very recognisable.


The Biggest Disappointments

  • Accordion Player (1888) - his face is a complete blur
  • Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) - 1 min - Supposedly the world's oldest surviving film clip, the subject is quite dull and shot from too far away.

All the films I've seen from Before 1900 (Newest to Oldest)

  1. Conjurer (1899)
  2. Kiss in the Tunnel, The (1899) - 1 Min
  3. Santa Claus (1898) - 1 Min
  4. Astronomer's Dream, The (La lune à un mètre) (1898) - 3 Mins
  5. Niagara Falls (1897) - 46 seconds
  6. X-Rays, The (1897) - 46 seconds
  7. Boxing Kangaroo, The (1896)
  8. Vanishing Lady (1896)
  9. Accordion Player (1888)
  10. Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge (1888)
  11. Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)
  12. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop (1878)

What's Left to see from 1899

  • Cripple Creek Bar-Room Scene (1899)
  • Cléopâtre (1899)
  • Devil in a Convent, The (1899)
  • How Would You Like to Be the Ice Man? (1899)
  • King John (1899) - 5 Mins
  • Major Wilson's Last Stand (1899)

What's Left to see from 1898

  • Ball Game, The (1898)
  • Cinderella (1898)
  • Come Along Do (1898)
  • Corbett and Sharkey Fight (1898)
  • Dewar's It's Scotch (1898)
  • Don Juan Tenorio (1898)
  • The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1898)
  • The Magician (1898)
  • The Miller and the Sweep (1898)
  • The Nearsighted School Teacher (1898)
  • Pack Train On Chilkoot Pass (1898)
  • Surrender of General Toral (1898)
  • Smích a plác (Laugh and Tears) (1898)
  • Santa Clause (1898)

What's Left to see from 1897

  • After The Ball (1897)
  • La Bandera Argentina (1897)
  • Chicago Police Parade (1897)
  • The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight (1897)
  • Haverstraw Tunnel, The (1897)
  • Horses Loading for Klondike (1897)
  • Kørsel med Grønlandske Hunde (1897)
  • Milker's Mishap, The (1897)
  • New Pillow Fight (1897)
  • Old Man Drinking a Glass of Beer (1897)
  • On The Roof (1897)
  • President McKinley At Home (1897)
  • Seminary Girls (1897)

What's Left to see from 1896

  • Arab Cortege (1896)
  • Arrivée d'un train gare de Vincennes (1896)
  • L'Arroseur (1896)
  • Baignade en mer (1896)
  • Barnet Horse Fair (1896)
  • Bateau-mouche sur la Seine (1896)
  • Batteuse à vapeur (1896)
  • Bébé et fillettes (1896)
  • Le Bivouac (1896)
  • Les Blanchisseuses (1896)
  • Bois de Boulogne (Porte de Madrid) (1896)
  • Bois de Boulogne (Touring Club) (1896)
  • Boulevard des Italiens (1896)
  • Boxing Match; or, Glove Contest (1896)
  • Campement de bohémiens (1896)
  • Cabbage Fairy, The (1896)
  • Carmaux, Drawing Out The Coke (1896)
  • Childish Quarrel (1896)
  • Children Digging For Clams (1896)
  • Dragoons Crossing The Saone (1896)
  • Feeding The Doves (1896)
  • Haunted Castle, The (Le Manoir du diable) (1896)
  • Kiss, The (1896)
  • Leaving Jerusalem By Railway (1896)
  • Lion, London Zoological Gardens (1896)
  • Loading A Boiler (1896)
  • New York: Broadway At Union Square (1896)
  • New York: Brooklyn Bridge (1896)
  • Poultry-Yard (1896)
  • Pompiers a Lyon (1896)
  • Promenade Of Ostriches, Paris Botanical Gardens (1896)
  • Snowball Fight (1896)
  • The Vanishing Lady (1896)

What's Left to see from 1895

  • Akrobatisches Potpourri (1895)
  • Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895)
  • Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895)
  • Autour d'une cabine (1895)
  • Baby's Meal, The (1895)
  • Bauerntanz zweier Kinder (1895)
  • Billy Edwards and the Unknown aka Billy Edwards Boxing (1895)
  • Blacksmiths, The (1895)
  • Boat Leaving The Port (1895)
  • Boxing Kangaroo (1895)
  • Card Party (1895)
  • La Charcuterie mécanique (1895)
  • Demolition Of A Wall (1895)
  • Derby, The (1895)
  • Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1895)
  • The Execution of Mary Stuart (1895)
  • Fishing For Goldfish (1895)
  • Opening of the Kiel Canal (1895)
  • Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race, The (1895)
  • Cordeliers' Square in Lyons (1895)
  • Photograph (1895)
  • Photographical Congress Arrives in Lyon, The (1895)
  • Princess Ali aka Egyptian Dance (1895)
  • Rough Sea at Dover (1895)
  • Le Saut à la couverture (1895)
  • Serpentinen Tanz (1895)
  • Sprinkler Sprinkled, The (1895)
  • Swimming In The Sea (1895)
  • Transformation By Hats (1895)
  • La Voltige (1895)
  • Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895)

What's Left to see from 1894

  • Annie Oakley (1894)
  • Annabelle Butterfly Dance (1894)
  • Autour d'une cabine (1894)
  • Athlete with Wand (1894)
  • Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton's) (1894)
  • Bucking Broncho (1894)
  • Buffalo Dance (1894)
  • Caicedo (with Pole) (1894)
  • Carmencita (1894)
  • Chinese Laundry Scene (Robetta and Doretto, No. 2) (1894)
  • Chinese Opium Den (1894)
  • Cock Fight, No. 2 (1894)
  • Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph (1894)
  • Falling Cat (1894)
  • Fire Rescue Scene (1894)
  • Fred Ott's Sneeze (Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze) (1894)
  • Fred Ott Holding a Bird (1894)
  • Glenroy Bros (1894)
  • Hadj Cheriff (1894)
  • The Hornbacker-Murphy Fight (1894)
  • Imperial Japanese Dance (1894)
  • Leonard-Cushing Fight (1894)
  • Luis Martinetti (1894)
  • Miss Jerry (1894)
  • Rêve au coin du feu (1894)
  • (Sandow No. 1) Souvenir Strip of the Edison Kinetoscope (1894)
  • Sandow No. 2 (1894)
  • Sandow No. 3 (1894)
  • Sioux Ghost Dance (1894)

What's Left to see from 1893

  • Blacksmith Scene (1893)
  • The Barber Shop (1893)

What's Left to see from 1892

  • Pauvre Pierrot (1892)

What's Left to see from 1891

  • Dickson Greeting (1891)
  • Men Boxing (1891)
  • Newark Athlete (1891)

What's Left to see from 1890

  • Monkeyshines, No. 1 (1890)
  • Monkeyshines, No. 2 (1890)
  • London's Trafalgar Square (1890)