In a Hurry to Catch a Train

(Monsieur et madame sont presees)

France 1901. Dir Ferdinand Zecca, Pathé Frères.

In Ferdinand Zecca’s In a Hurry to Catch a Train, a direct variation on Méliès’ earlier How He Missed His Train (1901), a man and his wife unsuccessfully try to get dressed. The comical innovation Zecca brings to an old gag consists primarily in the confusion and misplacement of gendered clothes. Importantly, as Méliès, he goes beyond animating clothing by virtue of filming it on a person’s body. Instead, he uses the clothes’ motion (appearances, disappearances, reappearances, movements around the set) to spectacular and awe-inspiring ends.