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How Jones Lost His Roll
(1905) American
B&W : 575 feet
Directed by Edwin S. Porter

Cast: (unknown)

Edison Manufacturing Company production; distributed by Edison Manufacturing Company. / Cinematography by Edwin S. Porter. / © 27 March 1905 by Thomas A. Edison [H58567]. Released May 1905. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format. / This film is perhaps the first to use stop-motion animated letters for intertitles, a process Porter called “jumble announcements.” The film includes a main title card and intertitles.


Synopsis: [From Edison promotional materials] This film has created a decided sensation in numerous Vaudeville Theatres, Moving Picture Entertainments, and among Exhibitors both in this country and abroad. There is not a dull or uninteresting moment throughout the entire picture, while at several points the audience breaks into rounds of applause and laughter. From beginning to end the audience is kept in one continual state of expectancy while the pictures show “How Jones Lost His Roll,” the letters, after much effort and manoeuvering disentangle themselves at intervals and tell the story in words. Further description is unnecessary and would only detract from the interest and novelty, the same as exposing a trick before performing it. Everyone wants to know how it is done. The film is very fine photographically, beautifully tinted, and one of the most novel that has ever been produced. No exhibitor should be without one of these films. It is sure to make the biggest kind of a hit. Fully described and illustrated in Circular No. 244.

Survival status: Print exists in the Library of Congress film archive (paper print collection) [35mm paper positive].

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Alcohol - Animals: Horses - Animation [stop-action] - Barrels - Buildings - Card games - Carriages - Cheating - Dinners - Drunkeness - Fences: Wire - Fireplaces - Gambling - Hats: Top hats - Houses - Maids - Mirrors - Money - Neighborhoods - Sidewalks - Street scenes - Tobacco: Cigarettes, Cigars - Wine

Listing updated: 29 April 2010.

References: Film viewing : Leyda-Before p. 123; Niver-First pp. 90, 92 : Website-AFI.

Home video: DVD.

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