Calino courtier en paratonnerres (1912)

aka Calino’s new invention
Article 4005 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-17-2012
Directed by Jean Durand
Featuring Clement Mage, Gaston Modot
Country: France
What it is: silent comedy

Calino is out trying to peddle his new invention – a gigantic lightning rod. However, the huge size of his invention causes destruction and chaos wherever he goes… and when he does find a buyer, the invention has a slight defect…

Here’s another movie that got saved from my “ones that got away” list; it turned out that I had this one all along, but didn’t know it because I hadn’t matched up the English title with the French title. Clement Mage, who plays Calino, may be one of the first authentic comic actors of the cinema. Most of the comedies from earlier than this had a lot of comic shtick, but Mage shows a real assurance with screen comedy just from an acting perspective. The destruction scenes are actually pretty impressive, with a large amount of stunt work for a movie that runs under five minutes. This one is a lot of fun.

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