A Very Fine Lady (1908)
Alternate Title: Une dame vraiment bien
Another piece of light fluff from the early years of Louis Feuillade, this depicts a young woman walking around the streets of Paris whose figure apparently causes all sorts of mayhem. When she walks by men, they turn and crash into things, or spray one another with hoses, or otherwise become too distracted to function. She is fully and fashionably clothed, although her corset is very tight, which tends to accentuate her figure, but she is far from immodest, which may actually be part of the joke (or maybe it just seems humorous to modern sensibilities). The various Frenchmen reacting to her seem like something out of a Pepe Le Pew cartoon – they have no dignity and respond with broad gestures and ogles. Finally, a couple of policemen take it upon themselves to cover up her dress with a large coat and escort her safely home. The scene with the soldiers breaking rank to stare at her made me think of how France would be at war in just a few years, fighting against Germans who believed just this sort of idea of French military discipline. Interestingly, the audience never gets a good look at the woman’s face, she is generally depicted at a distance, or walking away from the camera.
Director: Louis Feuillade, Romeo Bosetti
Starring: Renée Carl
Run Time: 3 Min, 26 secs
You can watch it for free: here.