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Film, Video Maniac chase

Digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • Maniac chase


  • "The picture opens with the interior of a cell in an insane asylum. The inmate, who imagines himself to be Napoleon the Great, is seated at a table dressed in the costume of that world renowned general. A keeper enters with a bowl of soup. "Napoleon" tastes the soup and then dashes the contents of the bowl into the keeper's face. A fierce fight follows with "Napoleon" getting the better of it until two more keepers rush in and the three beat him unmercifully and leave him insensible on the floor. After the keepers leave, "Napoleon" gets up, smashes the table and pries off the bars of his cell with one of the table legs and escapes through the window. The second scene shows "Napoleon" escaping through the woods, pursued by the three keepers, and succeeding scenes following in rapid succession show the most exciting and ludicrous situations. In his flight "Napoleon" discovers an empty barrel, crawls into it and rolls to the bottom of the hill, and thus eludes his pursuers for a time. He next reaches a large tree. The first limbs are high above the ground, but "Napoleon" jumps and easily reaches one of the branches. The three keepers follow and disappear into the tree. A panoramic effect shows "Napoleon" descending from another tree, followed closely by the three keepers. A haystack is now reached. A tramp is sleeping at the foot with a gun beside him. "Napoleon" takes his gun and paces back and forth as a sentinel on guard. The keepers soon discover him and the chase continues. Finally "Napoleon" gets back to the asylum, climbs up to his cell window, and when the tired and worn out keepers return they are dumfounded [sic] at finding "Napoleon" seated at a table reading a paper. At each change of scene "Napoleon" stops to pose in characteristic attitude, producing a highly amusing effect. 530 ft.--Edison films catalog, no. 288.


  • Porter, Edwin S., camera
  • Thomas A. Edison, Inc
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1904.


  • -  Napoleon--I,--Emperor of the French,--1769-1821--Humor
  • -  Psychiatric hospital patients--Humor
  • -  Psychiatric hospitals--Employees--Humor
  • -  Escapes--Humor


  • Chase films
  • Comedy films
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Fiction films


  • -  H51386 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 7Oct1904; H51386.
  • -  Duration: approximately 8:30 min. at 16 fps.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2605) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Before the nickelodeon, p. 280; Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 199; Edison films catalog, no. 288, July 1906, p. 33 [MI]; AFI catalog, film beginnings, 1893-1910, p. 648-649.
  • -  Cameraman, Edwin S. Porter.
  • -  Photographed September 27-30, 1904 in New York City.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.


  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (206 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 500 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (206 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 500 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 500 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 500 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 5555 (viewing print)
  • FEB 9740 (viewing print)
  • FRA 2418 (dupe neg pic)
  • FPE 5289 (dupe neg pic)
  • Box 0634A (paper pos)
  • Box 5503A (paper pos, copy 2)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D. C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 00694242

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Porter, Edwin S., Camera, Inc Thomas A. Edison, and Paper Print Collection. Maniac Chase. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co, 1904. Video.

APA citation style:

Porter, E. S., Thomas A. Edison, I. & Paper Print Collection. (1904) Maniac Chase. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Porter, Edwin S., Camera, Inc Thomas A. Edison, and Paper Print Collection. Maniac Chase. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co, 1904. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.