Picturesque Colorado (1911)

by popegrutch

Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods is among the attractions seen in "Picturesque Colorado." Photo by EvanS, wikimedia commons.

Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods is among the attractions seen in “Picturesque Colorado.”
Photo by EvanS, wikimedia commons.

The available clips from this travel-promotion film demonstrate a good deal of sophistication and visual diversity. We see the urban landscape of Denver as well as the mountains and wilderness, and a crowded park in Manitou, filed with cars and people. Everything is tailored to make viewers see each piece as a must-see tourist attraction to add to their “bucket list” of activities, except perhaps for the odd inclusion of apple-pickers at work in the orchards, which may be meant to imply the ready availability of fresh nutritious food. Many of the tourists depicted in the movie look directly at the camera, and show a lot of interest in the filmmakers, demonstrating the unfamiliarity of the film camera even at this date. I found the image of the row of cars in Manitou especially telling – in the middle, there is a single horse-and-buggy, which seems to have difficulty parking in the mass of cars. Already by 1911 the automobile was transforming the West. We do see people on horseback at one of the wilderness attractions, but this makes sense as a tourist activity where one is leaving the comfortably paved roads of civilization to enjoy the outdoors, and might look the same today.

There is no available production information for this film at this time. It was made by the Rex Motion Picture Mfg Company, which was founded by Edwin S. Porter.

Run Time: 3 Min 30 secs.

I have been unable to find this for free online, if you know were it can be seen, please tell us in the comments.

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