The European Pioneers

Directed by (various)

Release Year: 1895
Running Time: 70
Color Type: Tinted B&W
Country: (various)
Genres: Silent
Screening Info
Crew
Composed by Neil Brand
Directed by (various)


Also available in The Movies Begin (DVD Box Set)

While some may consider the cinema a distinctly American invention, the most influential figures during its infancy were two brothers in France: Auguste and Louis Lumiere. In the beginning, they dominated world film production and distribution. Through the magic of cinema, such ordinary sights as the demolition of a wall, the arrival of a train, a family enjoying breakfast or workers exiting a factory were transformed into mystifying spectacles of light and motion, having their premiere on December 28, 1895.

Perhaps the most extraordinary elements of this collection are the early British films, virtually unseen in the United States. Robert W. Paul, a scientific instrument maker by trade, devoted fifteen years to motion pictures, designing his own camera and projector and, in March 1896, staging the first performance by an Englishman of projected motion pictures to a fee-paying public. Paul's works range from Lumiere-influenced actualities to experiments with stop-motion (Extraordinary Cab Accident, 1903) and miniature effects (The (?) Motorist, 1906, made with Walter R. Booth).

Other inventive artists represented herein include George Albert Smith, a well known scientific lecturer of the day; Walter Haggar and sons, who exhibited their films in a travelling tent show; Frank Mottershaw of the Sheffield Photographic Company; James Bamforth, also a manufacturer of lantern slides and picture postcards; and James Williamson, whose 1901 short Stop Thief! is considered the source of the subsequent development of the chase film.

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Includes:

Louis and Auguste Lumiere
  • Leaving The Factory (1895)
  • The Baby's Meal (1895)
  • Demolition Of A Wall (1895)
  • The Sprinkler Sprinkled (1895)
  • Arrival Of Congress (1895)
  • Arrival Of A Train (1895)
  • Card Party (1895)
  • Leaving Jersusalem By Railway (1896)
  • Snowball Fight (1896)
  • A Fire Run (Lyons) (c.1896)
  • Niagara Falls (1897)
  • Spanish Bullfight (1900)

Birt Acres
  • Rough Sea At Dover (1895)

R. W. Paul
  • Come Along Do! (1898)
  • The Derby (1896)
  • The Countryman And The Cinematograph (1901)
  • A Chess Dispute (1903)
  • Extraordinary Cab Accident (1903)
  • Buy Your Own Cherries (1904)
  • The Motorist (1906)

George Albert Smith
  • The Miller And The Sweep (1898)
  • The Kiss In The Tunnel (1899)
  • Let Me Dream Again (1900)
  • Grandma's Reading Glass (1900)
  • As Seen Through A Telescope (1900)
  • Sick Kitten (1903)
  • Mary Jane's Mishap (1903)

Sheffield Photographic Co.
  • Daring Daylight Burglary (1903)

Haggar & Sons
  • Desperate Poaching Affray (1903)

Bamforth And Company, Ltd.
  • The Kiss In The Tunnel (1899)
  • Ladies Skirts Nailed To A Fence (c.1900)
  • The Bitter Bit (1900)
  • Rough Sea (c.1900)

Williamson's Kinematograph
  • Attack On A China Mission (1900)
  • The Big Swallow (1901?)
  • Stop Thief! (1901)
  • Fire! (1901)
  • An Interesting Story (1905)