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Jean Rescues (Vitagraph)

March 12, 2011

Vitagraph put out a film on January 31st, 1911 called Jean Rescues. On the week of March 12th, 1911, a New York City theater announced the inclusion of a similar-sounding film in a vaudeville show billed as “The Operatic Festival,” calling it Jean to the Rescue. I’ve excerpted the announcement below, which also evidences how exhibition practices for American film culture 100 years ago were at least as diverse as they are today.

NEW YORK TIME (March 12 1911): m2.

Chase’s this week will present fifteen grand opera songbirds, composing “The Operatic Festival,” a metropolitan musical production de luxe, formed around two picturesque musical episodes, “Gypsy life” and “The Carnival of Venice,” Special scenery and costumes lend adequate physical qualities. The extra added attraction will be Mary Norman, whose latest symposium contains “Some Women I Have Met,” Tears,” “Hats.” “Two Step.” “The Automobile Girl,” and “The Elegant Saleslady.” Third in order will be Eddie Leonard. “The real minstrel,” the former Dockstader feature, who, with Mabel Russell, a musical comedy comedienne, assisting, will present glimpses of minstrelsy, in which they sing “Booloo Beau,” “Oh, Anna Do!” and “Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire.” The funny side of footlight life will be shown by the Charles and Fannie Van company in “The Stage Carpenter’s Experience.” Character singing comedy will be given by Sharkey, Geissler, an Lewis. The Bounding Gordons will offer their exploits in the reacting table. Anita Diaz’s monkey will exhibit simian sagacity, and daylight motion pictures will portrays the adventures of a dog-hero “Jean to the Rescue”

Synopsis of jean Rescues in THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 6 (11 February 1911): 321.

Jealous of Horace and jealous of Jean, Oscar thinks he loves Alice, with whom he is constantly finding fault for showing the slightest attention to anybody but himself. Jean has a good deal of good dog sense, and instinctively shuns Oscar, whose disposition is anything but lovable. The dog is very fond of Horace, who is a man of gentle nature and kindly character.

Jean is always the companion of Alice and naturally comes in for the vent of Oscar’s spleen whenever it is aroused against Horace of Alice. Oscar longs to thwart Horace or Alice.

Oscar long to thwart Horace in his attention to Alice. The opportunity occurs when Alice appeals to him save Horace from drowning. He has been seized with cramps while bathing and unable to teach the shore Oscar coldly refuses loan appears and she goes to the rescue, bringing Horace exhausted to the shore. Alice is disgusted with Oscar and gives him back his engagement ring. A few days later Horace, with Jean, presents a very pretty picture as they sit in a happy contented group on the beach.

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