Film, Video Comedy cake walk Comedy cakewalk

About this Item

Title
Comedy cake walk
Other Title
Comedy cakewalk
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.
"Amusing cake walk of three men and two women (colored) in costume, showing the usual antics that occur in affairs of this kind"--Biograph picture catalogue.
Contributor Names
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
Created / Published
United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, c1903.
Subject Headings
-  Cakewalk (Dance)
-  Dance, Black--United States
-  African American dance
Genre
Filmed vaudeville acts
Comedy films
Silent films
Short films
Nonfiction films
Notes
-  H31675 U.S. Copyright Office
-  Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11May1903; H31675.
-  Original main title lacking.
-  Niver's Early motion pictures incorrectly credits the Americus Quartet as performers. Niver's credit for F.S. Armitage as cameraman cannot be confirmed in secondary sources.
-  Duration: 0:27 at 16 fps.
-  Biograph production no. 234.
-  Paper print shelf number (LC 0377) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
-  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
-  Sometimes confused with the film, Cake walk, which LC also holds.
-  The AFI catalog gives incorrect copyright information for this film, erroneously listing the title and registration number for the film, Cake walk.
-  Filmed at the Biograph New York City studio in May-June, 1897.
-  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
-  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1012; Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 63; AFI catalog: film beginnings, 1893-1910, p. 210; Biograph picture catalogue, Nov. 1902, p. 12; Biograph photo catalog, vol. 1, no. 234, viewed online via the New Jersey Digital Highway, July 11, 2014; Biograph production logs, 1896-1899.
-  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
-  35 mm viewing print renumbered: FEC 2272 to FYA 1235.
Medium
viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (11 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (27 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (11 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (27 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 30 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 30 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
Call Number/Physical Location
FLA 3391 (viewing print)
FYA 1235 (viewing print)
FRA 0689 (dupe neg pic)
FPE 7916 (dupe neg pic)
Box 0177C (paper pos)
Box 5267E (paper pos, copy 2)
Repository
Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mbrsmi/varsmp.0377
Library of Congress Control Number
96520379
Language
English
Online Format
video
image
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. "Amusing cake walk of three men and two women (colored) in costume, showing the usual antics that occur in affairs of this kind"--Biograph picture catalogue.
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/96520379
Additional Metadata Formats
MARCXML Record
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress American Variety Stage collection is in the public domain and is free to use and reuse.

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

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, and Paper Print Collection. Comedy Cake Walk. United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1903. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/96520379/.

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, <www.loc.gov/item/96520379/>.