Film, Video Comedy cake walk

About this Item

Title
Comedy cake walk
Summary
Five African Americans--three men and two women--perform an exaggerated cakewalk in fancy evening clothes. Two of the men wear formal black tie in tuxedos with tails, while the third wears a gray tux of shiny material with an extremely long overcoat and exaggerated cuffs. All have matching top hats and canes. The women wear highly decorated hats and tight-fitting, frilly dresses of only mid-calf length, with one hand on their hip pulling up that side of the skirt. Two couples step in time against a white background as the third, center man prances forward and executes a comedic, wobbly-kneed step. He then moves back to lead the others in the strutting around the stage, all the time spinning and prancing among them. As the couple to stage left jaunt past the camera, the woman pauses to hitch up her stocking. The man in the gray suit on the right twirls his cane and struts toward the camera with his partner; they then pause on opposite sides of the frame. The woman kisses a handkerchief she is holding in one hand and flirtatiously throws it on the ground. As the man smiles knowingly and reaches for it, however, the woman yanks the fabric back to her on a string. Both laugh and continue strutting. All five dancers then return to a line and start a fancy step towards the camera.
From Biograph picture catalogue [MI]: 28 feet. Amusing cake walk of three men and two women (colored) in costume, showing the usual antics that occur in affairs of this kind.
Contributor Names
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
Created / Published
United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1903.
Subject Headings
-  Dance, Black--United States
-  Afro-American dance--United States
-  Dancers--New York (State)--New York
-  Silent films
Genre
Dance
Vaudeville
Black films and programs
Shorts
Notes
-  H31675 U.S. Copyright Office
-  Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11May1903; H31675.
-  Original main title lacking.
-  K.R. Niver credits the Americus Quartet as performers and F.S. Armitage as cameraman, in a Philadelphia shoot on 9/18/1900, as he did with the film Cake walk. This film and Cake walk feature the same five dancers, rather than a quartet, and have nothing to do with the films shot on the date above, nos. 1642 and 1643, which show a group of children at play. The film being described here is instead no. 234.
-  Duration: 0:27 at 16 fps.
-  Materials listed originate from the paper print chosen best copy of two for digitization; for other holdings on this title, see the M/B/RS Paper Print database.
-  Catalog no. 234; code name (for telegraphic orders) Multesimo.
-  Available on the Internet; Library of Congress World Wide Web site (http://lcweb.loc.gov)
-  NCN046290; Comedy cake walk.
-  Filmed at the Biograph New York City studio, perhaps on the roof.
-  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1012; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985; AFI cat.: film beginnings, 1893-1910, 1995; Biograph picture catalogue, Nov. 1902 [MI], p. 12; Biograph photo catalog, v. 1 [MI].
-  Received: 2/2/95 from LC film lab; arch pos; preservation; Paper Print Collection.
-  Received: 11/29/94 from LC film lab; arch neg; preservation; Paper Print Collection.
-  Received: 3/1/95 from LC film lab; masterpos; preservation; Paper Print Collection.
-  Received: 5/11/03; paper pos; copyright deposit; Paper Print Collection.
Medium
1 reel of 1 (27 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. arch pos.
1 reel of 1 (27 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. arch neg.
1 reel of 1 (27 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. masterpos.
1 roll (24 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. paper pos.
Call Number/Physical Location
FPE 7918 (arch pos)
FPE 7917 (arch neg)
FPE 7919 (masterpos)
LC 377b (paper pos)
Library of Congress Control Number
96520379
Online Format
image
video
Description
Five African Americans--three men and two women--perform an exaggerated cakewalk in fancy evening clothes. Two of the men wear formal black tie in tuxedos with tails, while the third wears a gray tux of shiny material with an extremely long overcoat and exaggerated cuffs. All have matching top hats and canes. The women wear highly decorated hats and tight-fitting, frilly dresses of only mid-calf length, with one hand on their hip pulling up that side of the skirt. Two couples step in time against a white background as the third, center man prances forward and executes a comedic, wobbly-kneed step. He then moves back to lead the others in the strutting around the stage, all the time spinning and prancing among them. As the couple to stage left jaunt past the camera, the woman pauses to hitch up her stocking. The man in the gray suit on the right twirls his cane and struts toward the camera with his partner; they then pause on opposite sides of the frame. The woman kisses a handkerchief she is holding in one hand and flirtatiously throws it on the ground. As the man smiles knowingly and reaches for it, however, the woman yanks the fabric back to her on a string. Both laugh and continue strutting. All five dancers then return to a line and start a fancy step towards the camera. From Biograph picture catalogue [MI]: 28 feet. Amusing cake walk of three men and two women (colored) in costume, showing the usual antics that occur in affairs of this kind.
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/96520379
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Chicago citation style:

American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, and Paper Print Collection. Comedy Cake Walk. United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1903. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/96520379/. (Accessed March 27, 2017.)

APA citation style:

American Mutoscope And Biograph Company & Paper Print Collection. (1903) Comedy Cake Walk. United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/96520379/.

MLA citation style:

American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, and Paper Print Collection. Comedy Cake Walk. United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1903. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/96520379/>.