Episodes in the Life of a Gin Bottle (1925)
Article 5563 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bela von Block
Featuring John Ince and Rex Lease
What it is: Muddled prohibitionist propaganda… or is it?
A gin bottle passes from hand to hand. Women see a handsome man inside the bottle.
On the surface, this short seems to be a propaganda piece about the evils of alcohol; however, one of the user reviews on IMDB points out that prohibitionist propaganda wasn’t necessary at this point in history (as Prohibition was already in place), and that the short may be about a side issue of adulterated alcohol, which I take to mean “tainted” or “poisonous”; this was a real danger during the era. This makes sense to me, and this might explain the significance of a man appearing inside the bottle (as something that shouldn’t be there), though why it should be seen only by women is a mystery to me. The message aside, the special effect is an interesting one; I just wish there was more of a story to flesh out the message, as in its present from, it’s a little elusive and confusing.