possibly one of the earliest social comedies on film, this was made in 1897, apparently confirmed by documents in the National Archive.
Also known as 'The X-Ray Fiend', this comedy by G.A. Smith combines two very recent innovations; Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of X-rays in 1895, and Georges Méliès' accidental realisation of the special-effects potential of the jump-cut in 1896 (he was cinema’s first creative genius).
The central couple is played by the Brighton comedian Tom Green and Smith's wife Laura Bayley, and we know that they were filmed in October 1897 from Smith's cashbook, now preserved in the BFI National Archive.
(credit; Michael Brooke)
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