PILLOLE PORTENTOSE (1910)
aka Wonderful Pills
Article 4796 by Dave Sindelar
Featuring Giuseppe Gambardella, Polidor
What it is: Trick short
A hunter suffering from exhaustion is revived by his hunting buddy, Cyrano de Bergerac, who brings him some pills that fill him with vim and vigor. They go out hunting, giving passers-by samples of the pills along the way.
I don’t know if that’s really Cyrano in the short, but once I got a look at his nose, that’s the first name that came to mind. The main special effect on display here is the use of undercranking; everyone who takes the pills moves at a frantic pace. Quite frankly, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the short; once you figure out the central gag, you notice that the movie really doesn’t get much comic inspiration out of the idea; for the most part, things just move really fast. The closest the short gets to being funny is when the two hunters begin scooting around on their butts at an accelerated pace. The rest of it is pretty uninspired. This is, however, another movie that was saved from my “ones that got away” list.