CUPID’S PRANKS (1908)
Article 4781 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by J. Searle Dawley
Featuring Violette Hill, Mr. Barry, Marie Murray
What it is: Whimsical fantasy
Cupid decides to play matchmaker at a dance. Will he be successful?
This short has some cute touches to it. I like the fact that we see Cupid making his own arrows at a forge. I also like the effect of him taking off in flight. I also like some of his antics, especially the fact that in order to get two people together at the dance, he lassos one to drag him towards the lady (with what can no doubt be called his “lariat of love”). However, the short has severe pacing issues; even a ten-minute movie can drag if it should only run about five minutes, and several of the scenes either go on longer than they need to or could be cut entirely. The worst offender is a scene where Cupid waits outside the dance hall for two potential partners to show up; in general, scenes of people waiting around don’t make for energetic cinema, and the whole sequence could have been cut without damaging the story. All in all, this is a cute idea that could have used some editing.