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The Chase Film and Women in Public Space

by Kate Fortmueller

Biograph's Personal (1904) was a very popular film that was almost immediately remade by Edison as How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904).

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. The particular spectacle (or attraction) of this film was the unruly female body. Women in this film do not behave "appropriately," they run around, their clothing are obstacles, and they are doing this all in a very public space.

Personal (1904)

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A man takes out a personal ad looking for a wife and gets chased into the countryside. This Biograph film was remade by Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Company as How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904).

from Personal (1904)
Creator: Wallace McCutcheon
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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