RED RIDING HOOD (1907)
aka Little Red Riding Hood, Le petit chaperon rouge
Article 4187 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Fairy tale
Red Riding Hood is sent out to deliver a baked tart and a pot of butter to her ailing grandmother, but will be she outwitted by the hungry wolf?
This is apparently a slightly edited “show-at-home” version of the original short; all of the original scenes are there, but they have been shortened, and copious intertitles were added. Granted, given the familiarity of this story, I’m not sure how many of them were necessary. There are some points of interest in this version of the story. The titles tell us that Little Red Riding Hood’s red riding hood was made by her mother (thus delving into the mythic origins of Little Red Riding Hood), the wolf is played by a live animal (who seems very friendly, even if we do get a scene of it attacking grandma), the wolf disguised as Grandma invites Little Red Riding Hood into bed with her (which I’m sure is meant in all innocence, but once you let your imagination run wild, you end up in all sorts of places you’d rather not be), and this version of the story omits the woodsman, which means the final scene leaves only one character still living in Grandma’s house at the end, thus rendering it one of the more depressing versions of the story, as well as making the revelations about Little Red Riding Hood’s mythic origins rather a wasted effort. Still, I will admit, I was entertained by this one.