L’AGENT A LE BRAS LONG (1909)
Article 4021 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Romeo Bosetti
What it is: Comic trick short
A cop uses his super-powers to help citizens and catch criminals.
There’s no English title listed on the IMDB listing for this movie, but it wouldn’t take a genius to come up with THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW. That’s the cop’s super-power; he can stretch his right arm out to unbelievable lengths. This is one of the funnier shorts I’ve encountered from the era; my favorite sequence is when the cop stretches out his arm over a canal so someone can walk across on it, only to have a variety of other people show up and decide to take the same route, including a man with a wheelbarrow. The final sequence has him chasing a criminal to the roof of a house, but when the criminal ducks down a chimney, the cop has to reach his arm into several different chimneys and ends up disturbing perfectly innocent residents. Many of these sequences have stop-motion animation.