Media Monday: How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904)
Happy Valentine's Day! Todays' Media Monday post is a light-hearted silent film based on a true story, and set at a famous Hudson River landmark.
In 1904, the Edison Manufacturing Company produced this short silent film, "How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns." Based on a real story, the picture opens with a "Personal" advertisement which actually appeared in the New York Herald of August 25th, 1904. It reads: "Young French Nobleman, recently arrived, desires to meet wealthy American girl; object matrimony; will be at Grant's Tomb at 10 this morning, wearing boutonniere of violets."
Housed at the Library of Congress, the film follows a young French nobleman whose idea to place a personal in the newspaper in order to find a wealthy wife, whom he will meet at Grant's Tomb, doesn't quite go as planned. Hilarity ensues.
The Library of Congress describes the film: The first scene shows the young "Nobleman" in his dressing room. He picks up the "Herald," and finally locates his "ad" with evident satisfaction. He then fastens a large bunch of violets to the lapel of his coat and departs for rendezvous. The next scene shows the "Nobleman" at Grant's Tomb, pacing impatiently back and forth. Soon a handsome young lady passes him, and seeing the violets, mutual recognition quickly follows. Another lady soon arrives, and others in rapid succession until the young Frenchman is completely surrounded. He finally escapes and runs for his life down the Riverside Drive, pursued by a dozen or more of his fair would-be captors, a stout lady in white bringing up the rear. He leads the girls a merry chase over sand banks, fallen trees, through bushes, over rail fences, and finally escapes, as he thinks, by wading into a pond up to his waist. The girls finally reach the pond and stand on the bank, imploring him to come ashore. But the Frenchman pays no heed to them. Finally the stout lady, who has been last throughout the entire race, arrives upon the scene, and without hesitating for an instant she dashes into the water and finally captures first prize and a titled husband in the bargain, again proving the old adage that "The race is not always to the swift."
We hope you enjoyed this fun silent film, and have a Happy Valentine's Day!
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