Jack and the Beanstalk (July 15, 1902)

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Jack and the Beanstalk, 1902
 

Released on July 15, 1902: Thomas Edison filmed this motion picture in his New York City movie studio when movies were still experimental things of wonder.

Directed by George S. Fleming and Edwin S. Porter

The Actors: Thomas White (Jack, of Jack and the Beanstalk).

 

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One Funny Cow!

Thomas Edison was an inventor extraordinaire who moved the world quickly into a brave new future. When he was twelve years old he lost a great portion of his hearing, and his school teachers proclaimed that he was too dumb to learn much. While he may not have absorbed a lot of book leaning, his passion for knowing how and why things worked led him to invent and improve many things that we take for granted today, including motion pictures. He was instrumental in changing the course of history forever with his inventions. In addition to electric current and light bulbs in every home, he perfected the phonograph, and for the first time in the history of the world a voice could be saved and heard over and over again forever into the future. Today I spend much of my time enjoying stories recorded on film by actors that have long since passed on, but thanks to inventors like Edison I can watch what he and other people recorded over a hundred years ago, just as if I had been there next to him. In 1902 no movies were longer than 4 or 5 minutes, but Edison wanted to break the boundaries, and he produced this ten minute movie telling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. He took advantage of the 'magic' of film to allow the fairy to instantly appear and disappear from the scene, and even created a scene within a scene twice in this story. Pop a little bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy a movie produced by Thomas Edison in 1902. You won't be awed by the story itself, but if you can take yourself back to horse and buggy days of oil lamps and dirt streets you can be amazed at the wonders of moving pictures . . . . and if you are like me you will agree that the old cow in the first 60 seconds of the movie steals the show in amazing fashion - in my humble opinion Mama was right . . . that cow was worth a lot more than a handful of magic beans :~)

The Fairy greets Jack
The Fairy greets Jack
Jack starts climbing the beanstalk while his mother looks on
Jack starts climbing the beanstalk while his mother looks on
Jack climbs towards the heavens on the beanstalk
Jack climbs towards the heavens on the beanstalk
Jack reaches the top and is too tired to stand
Jack reaches the top and is too tired to stand as the fairy sitting on the moon watches
Jack rises out of the large vase and sees the sleeping giant
Jack rises out of the large vase and sees the sleeping giant
Mama watches for Jack as he climbs the beanstalk
Mama watches for Jack as he climbs the beanstalk
The fairy shows Jack the giant's castle
The fairy shows Jack the giant's castle