NURSERY FAVORITES (1913)
Article 4775 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Allen Ramsey
Featuring Edna Flugrath
What it is: Early experiment with sound
Various characters from nursery rhymes and fairy tales appear, sing and dance.
THE JAZZ SINGER wasn’t really the first sound movie; it was the first one that used a technology that could be widely adapted. There were several early experiments with sound, but I think this is the only one that has anything in the way of fantastic content. There’s no plot to speak of; all that happens is several characters appear and sing songs tied to a variety of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. The giant from “Jack and the Beanstalk” appears (played by a really tall guy), as well as the Queen of the Fairies; there’s also a fairly large spider for the Little Miss Muffet song. The action is shot in one long single take with a static camera, and the stage gets rather crowded before it’s all over. It’s mostly interesting as a curio, and some of the sound is rather inaudible, but I rather expected that