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Lassoing Wild Animals in Africa (Buffalo Jones)

February 12, 2011

The French film company Pathé Frères produced and distributed this film featuring the African exploits of famous American cowboy Charles Jesse “Buffalo” Jones.


MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 5 (4 February 1911): 222.



100 years ago today,  The Washington Herald announced the showing of this film at The Plaza, declaring it the “first Sunday release” of the “association manufacturers” (I think they mean the MPPC). I have pointed out elsewhere the rarity of Sunday releases in the U. S.  It is not surprising that a travel/adventure film like this was chosen for a Sunday release date since it could be advertised as an educational feature, and likely traveled the non-theatrical circuit (churches, schools, YMCAs, hospitals, military bases, prisons etc.)

The first “Sunday release” picture ever produced by the association manufacturers will be shown at the Plaza to-day. The picture is in two parts, and shows the famous “Buffalo” Jones in his daring Jungle exploits “Lassoing Wild Animals in Africa.” This is a special release, and is produced through the combined efforts of all association film manufacturers. A Biograph picture and the usual good programme of songs by a well – known vocalist will also be on the programme (page 6).

According to the (British) Colonial Film Catalog, this film is held by the BFI. (ID 234169)

Buffalo Jones’ archives are held in special collections at Arizona State University. Included among their holdings are: “2 Buffalo Jones Broadsides advertising motion pictures of African live animal captures” and an “Advertising bulletin for “Buffalo” Jones film of live animal captures in Africa, ca.1916.” If this second date is correct, this speaks to the longevity of this particular film in the national film theatrical (and non-theatrical) circuit (unless there was a second expedition).

Buffalo Jones was already 65 in 1910 when, according to the New York Times, he “The Jones expedition was financed by New York sportsmen who wanted to give Jones in his sixty-fifth year another chance to distinguish himself.” (reported 3 April 1910).

This expedition was also turned into a book, as the advertisement placed in the National Geographic Magazine of 1911 attests.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 22, no. 25 (May 1911): 287.



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