Clown, Dog and Balloon (1905)
Alternate Titles: “Dog Playing Ball;” “Clown, chien et ballon;” Chien jouant à la balle
This family-friendly short film from Alice Guy is another example of a filmed Vaudeville act. In this case, the action is all on the part of the performers; the camera is simply a witness to their act.
Once again, we see a stage with a very obvious backdrop. A clown and a small dog run out, and the clown throws a large balloon in the air. The dog bounces it off his nose, trying to get a game of “catch” going, but the clown usually misses the balloon or falls down instead of hitting it. The dog is forced to “save” the balloon to keep it in the air several times. Occasionally, the clown does manage to hit the balloon. At the end, the clown deftly snatches the balloon out of the air and bows, leading the dog offstage.
Apart from this short description, there’s not much else to say about this one. The camera is stationary, and there are no edits. It sort of annoyed me that the balloon frequently bounced off the backdrop, spoiling the illusion that it represented an open plaza or street (not that it was very convincing to begin with). A backdrop of a wall would have worked better.
Director: Alice Guy
Camera: Unknown (possibly Alice Guy)
Starring: Unknown clown and dog
Run Time: 1 Min, 20 secs
You can watch it for free: here.