The Gloves of Ptames (1914)

Article 4687 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-20-2014
Directed by David Aylott
Cast unknown
Country: UK
What it is: Comic trick short

A family receives a gift of ancient Egyptian gloves with strange properties; in short, anything they touch while wearing the gloves vanishes. They throw the gloves away, but the gloves are picked up by a succession of passers-by, until one of them figures a way to turn them to his own profit.

At first it looked like the gloves would give the wearer the ability to make Melies-style trick shorts, but it soon became apparent that only one trick was used – that of making things disappear. At first I thought the short would do nothing but repeat that effect, but once somebody figures out how to use them for constructively (for himself, that is to say), the short takes on a story of some sort. Unfortunately, the copy I saw is missing its ending, in which the man profiting from the gloves gets his comeuppance, but there is enough there to give you an idea of what probably happened. All in all, this is a fairly amusing short.


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