Le cheval emballe (1908)

aka The Runaway Horse
Article 4257 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 6-27-2013
Directed by Louis J. Gasnier
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Comic chase film

While taking his time on a delivery, a delivery man’s horse helps himself to a bag of oats at a nearby shop. When the delivery man returns to find the bag completely empty, he tries to get away before the shopkeeper discovers, but the horse, energized with eating all those oats, takes off at a breakneck pace, destroying everything in his path.

I’m taking a leap of faith with this film, though I may have the wrong one. The Walt Lee guide gives the title as THE RUNAWAY HORSE, but it lists the director as Ferdinand Zecca (rather than Gasnier), puts its year in 1907 (IMDB lists no movie of this title from 1907, but does list this one as 1908), and claims Max Linder is in the cast (he may be, but neither IMDB nor the movie itself lists any names from its sizable cast). Furthermore, the Walt Lee guide lists the fantastic content as being that a man survives being run over by a steamroller, a scene which does not exist in this one. However, that doesn’t mean this movie is devoid of fantastic content; in one impossible scene, the horse is seen in full gallop running backwards, a trick done by running the film the wrong way. The movie does match the title and the production company (Pathe Freres). So I’m not really sure I have the right movie, so I may have been influenced by two factors; namely, the large amount of unfindable movies on my hunt list means that I haven’t been able to watch as many movies for this series as I’d like, and this one is not only extant but in my collection. It’s pretty amusing, and when you consider much of the action is done with a horse under no visible control, it’s a pretty impressive movie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s