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Chase films and attractions

by Kate Fortmueller

Like many films from the early 20th century, How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904) was plagiarized from a film (Personal [1904]) made by another company (Biograph).

This film is an example of a chase film, or a film with a loose narrative of pursuit, that was common from 1903-1906. Chase films combined spectacle and narrative so that the spectacle was equally (or more) important as the causality of events. As Tom Gunning points out in his seminal essay, "The Cinema of Attraction[s]: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant Garde," there were two versions of this film available for rent: 1) the entire film (the spectacle and the narrative; and 2) Separate shots of the ladies chasing the man (spectacle only).

How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904)

In this comedy, based on an actual personal ad from the New York Herald, women race to meet the French Nobleman.

from How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904)
Creator: Edwin S. Porter
Distributor: Kino Video
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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