LA COURSE AUX POTIRONS (1907)
aka The Pumpkin Race
Article 4248 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Romeo Bossetti
What it is: Rogue vegetable shenanigans
When some thieves break a pumpkin cart while trying to steal it, the pumpkins get loose and lead the townspeople on a merry chase through town.
One thing I learned from another movie watching project I’m engaged in is that the cinematic “chase scene” was a very early creation indeed. This is one of my favorite examples, in that the object of pursuit is not some man who has angered them, but a whole gang of seemingly sentient pumpkins; they seem able to roll uphill, go up chimneys, etc, which is what provides the fantastic content. Quite frankly, some of the special effects here are a bit amazing, and it’s actually quite amusing, especially since one of the pursuers is a man with a donkey who he refuses to leave behind, thus forcing him to force the donkey up chimneys and down manholes, etc. I’m glad to learn that the rolling items were pumpkins; when I first saw the short, I didn’t know what they are, as they are much flatter than most pumpkins I’ve seen. This one is a bizarre treat, and a lot of fun.