Cook & Rilly’s Trained Rooster (1905)

by popegrutch

Alternate Title: Le Coq dressé de Cook et Rilly

Well, this is a movie in which a rooster sits on a stool and crows. That’s it.

If it were a silent film, that would be pretty darn silly. However, it’s an early experiment with synch-sound recording, for which, happily, the sound disc still survives. There are actually thousands of such movies, and quite probably thousands of such discs, but in general they have not been reunited, which is too bad, because neither element would work alone.

Cook and Rillys Trained RoosterAdmittedly, even with sound, this is a pretty boring film, and I’d bet it wasn’t intended for commercial distribution, just as a test to show that the system worked. One thing it got me thinking about is the sound that roosters make. In English, we are told from a young age that roosters say, “cock-a-doodle-doo.” I have never heard a rooster say this, however. To me, their call sounds more like, “Er-Er-ER!-Errr…”, with the emphasis unfailingly on that third syllable and the final one trailing off. I have no idea where this silliness about “cock-a-doodle-doo” comes from.

Director: Alice Guy

Camera: Unknown (possibly Alice Guy or Anatole Thiberville)

Starring: A rooster

Run Time: 2 Min

You can watch it for free: here.