(Londres, 1864-Croydon, 1946)

rosenthal john

Jean-Claude SEGUIN



Les origines (1864-1897)

Né à Manchester, Joseph Rosenthal exerce la profession de joaillier, à Londres où il réside avec son épouse, Matilda, et ses quatre enfants, Joseph, Annie, Jane et Alice, à Londres lors du recensement de 1881. Lors du recensement de 1891, le père a disparu et sa veuve vit avec ses enfants Annie, Joseph et Alice. Dès 1893, le fils, Joseph Rosenthal, "chemist" de profession, est initié dans la loge maçonnique United Mariner's Lodge. Cette même année, il épouse la fille d'un militaire dont il a un enfant, Joseph Rosenthal jr. Il travaille pendant quelque temps au St George's Hospital de Londres. C'est probablement vers 1894 que Joseph Rosenthal découvre le kinetoscope Edison :

I first became interested in 'living pictures' before the kinematograph or bioscope was dreamt of. The living pictures of that period were not projected, but inspected through a peep-hole, and could only be seen by one person at a time. The Edison kinetoscope was the first instrument of this kind, and as a pharmaceutical chemist with a leaning towards photography, I was greatly interested in it.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

Le cinématographe (1898-1906)

La rencontre avec Charles Urban et les débuts à la Warwick Trading Company (1898-1899)

Joseph Rosenthal perd son emploi [1898] et, par l'intermédiaire de sa soeur Alice Rosenthal, employée à la Warwick Trading Company, il rentre en contact avec Charles Urban qui l'engage.

As we were on the look out for men with photographic knowledge to train as camera men for our staff, Miss Rosenthal mentioned to me that her brother Joseph Rosenthal had been dismissed from the service as dispenser in the hospital section of the navy, that he had considerable photographic experience and would be glad to join our staff. Il shortly after had an interview with him and engaged him. He demonstrated his talent and became chief of our camera staff.

URBAN, 1999: 54.

Son intérêt pour le cinématographe naissant et le goût prononcé pour les voyages le conduisent à vite accepter de parcourir le monde pour prendre des vues animées, en particulier, sur les théâtre de conflits armés :

I was for a long time associated with the Warwick and later with the Urban Co., and have travelled pretty nearly all over the globe for one or the other. I had always been anxious to see the world, and gladly seized the opportunities that presented, though now I occasionally regret that I did not stay at home and take the step I have taken now many years ago. I have been through four wars with the camera-the South African campaign, the Pekin Expedition, the American War in the Phillipines, and the Russo-Japanese War-and have also visited practically every British colony and Egypt, India, Borneo, China, Japan and the Continental countries In search of pictures.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

Il va vite devenir, en effet, l'un des cinématographistes les plus importants de la Warwick Trading Company

La guerre des Boers (décembre 1899-juin 1900)

La 2nd guerre des Boers - connue également comme "guerre du Transvaal" - oppose l'Empire britannique aux descendants des premiers colons d'origine néerlandaise, allemande et française. Charles Urban a établi, sur place, des contacts avec Edgar Hyman, l'un des reporters cinématographiques du conflit dont il est peut-être question dans l'article suivant :

Another Operator left for the Seat of Trouble in Company with several War Correspondents, Sailing Three Weeks ago.
After having made two Trips through SOUTH AFRICA before the Declaration of War with the Transvaal (the subjects secured being listed elsewhere in this issue) we have again dispatched an operator with the Bioscope Camera, with orders to procure Scenes of everything of Interest connected with the War. As our representative left in company with several War Correspondents of two principal London Illustrated Journals, he will proceed as near the front as permissible. Special Arrangements have been entered into with Messrs Donald Curne and Co. to forward all Negatives without the least possible delay. As our Operator landed in Capetown several days before anyone else with like intentions sailed from Southampton, we shall receive Negatives and furnish Prints from same to our Patrons FOUR WEEKS EARLIER THAN ANY OTHER CONCERN ON EARTH.

The Era, London, Saturday 21 October 1899, p. 28.

Les hostilités ont commencé 11 octobre 1899, mais Joseph Rosenthal ne part qu'à la fin de l'année 1899, pour l'Afrique du Sud :

War with the Transvaal.
Our photographic staff now in South Africa:
Orange free state: Mr Bennett Stanford.
Cape Colony: Mr. Edgar M. Hyman.
Natal: Mr J. Rosenthal.

The Era, London, Saturday 30 December 1899, p. 31.

Dans les semaines suivantes, il va suivre la colonne de lord Roberts dont il filme un mouvement de troupe le 12 mai 1900:

5678. THE SURRENDER OF KROONSTAD TO LORD ROBERTS, May 12th, 1900. Showing Lords Roberts and Kitchener with Staff Officers, entering Kroonstad at the head of the Mounted Column of Foreign Attaches, Bodyguard and Waggonette, in which are seated the Landrost and other Officials who went out to Surrender tho Town to Lord Roberts. As the Column slowly files into the Town and by our Camera, magnificent portraits of all wore secured.
Photographed by Mr. J. Rosenthal, of our War Staff, now with Lord Roberts's Army in South Africa.

The Stage, Londres, jeudi 19 juillet 1900, p. 20.

rosenthal joseph 1900 afrique sud 02
"Our Bioscopist in South Africa"
The Charles Urban Trading Company, We Put the World Before You By Means of The Bioscope and Urban Films, novembre 1903, p. 41.

C'est encore lui qui, quelques jours plus tard, tourne un nouveau film daté : 

5722. THE 4 7-INCH GUN IN ACTION AT THE BATTLE OF PRETORIA. This and the following films are the only subjects yet photographed while the guns were in action (not prearranged for the occasion). It shows a 4 7-inch gun firing at the Boers outside Pretoria on June 4th, 1900. Mr Rosenthal photographed this incident in company with Mr Bennett Burleigh, War Correspondent of the " Daily Telegraph," while bullets fell thick and fast, and both gentlemen were almost smothered twice by the dirt thrown up by bursting shells, which fell in rather too close proximity for comfort. One of the officials, within 30ft. o our photographer, was wounded in this battle, and several horses and mules were killed.

The Era, Londres, samedi 25 août 1900, p. 24.

Walter Gibbons, qui obtient un succès certain avec ses bio-tableaux, évoque dans une interview une anecdote relative à Joseph Rosenthal, lors de son séjour en Afrique du Sud :

An amusing fact may be noted in reference to a view of some war supplies crossing a bridge on the Orange River. The very first person who goes over the bridge is Mr. Rosenthal, a noted photographer, who, having just taken a series of pictures on one side of the river, is crossing with his camera and tripod, and being taken by another celebrity of the photographic world—to wit, Mr Edgar M. Hyman, of the Empire, Johannesburg. 
Mr. Gibbons is about to move into very fine new premises in Chandos Street. The large building will afford every facility for the daily-increasing business. With such a hard-working and brilliant young enthusiast at its head, we may Expect great things from it. As he himself cheerily remarks, the greater and greater perfection of the pictures is only a matter of time, and not such a very long time either.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 18 May 1900, p. 11.

rosenthal joseph 1900 afrique sud
Photographs by Mr. J. Rosenthal. "The Transvaal War: incidents of the advance to Pretoria"
The Illustrated London News, nº 203, Londres, août 1900, p. 22. 

Mais c'est The Showman qui publie un très long article où il est amplement question de Joseph Rosenthal et de son rôle de reporter pendant la guerre des Boers :

How War Films are Made.
DURING the last few months many of our readers have, doubtless, been engaged in showing war pictures of some kind, and they have probably come to the conclusion that the public most appreciates the cinematograph views. Even those who have not been directly connected with the cinematograph will be interested to hear some details of its doings in South Africa, as films having reference to the war in that country, have recently taken a large part in the programme at popular entertainments.
Messrs. Rosenthal Hyman of the Warwick Trading Co., Ltd., 4 and 5 Warwick Court, High Holborn, were the only cinematographers who succeeded in getting to the front and remaining there. They were recognised by the War Office, so probably met with but little opposition from zealous officials, though they were occasionally reminded with tender but firm accents, of the home-made red tape, we know so well. In spite of all we have heard and read on the subject, it must not be imagined that these films are " faked," there is very much of the real thing about them, and the difficulties encountered by the cinematographer in warfare are by no means imaginary.
The method adopted by Mr. Rosenthal for conveying his luggage was a great factor in his success as it enabled him to keep ahead of the troops and come in for all the best scenes and most interesting events. All the apparatus was strapped on the back of one mule, while another was used for personal luggage. When long marches were expected, both mules were used with a waggon, but as soon as more rapid progress was necessary, the waggon was out-spanned and left behind.
Concerning instruments, we hear that Mr. Rosenthal has one for 165 feet of film, and another carrying 650 feet, besides the tent, portable dark room, and a few chemicals for testing the film before sending it home. Our first illustration gives an excellent portrait of Mr. Rosenthal in his South African get up.
The work is not lacking in disappointments, and some of the best sets of films mailed to London were destroyed on the way. One series comprising an interview with Sir Alfred Milner and Lord Roberts, at Bloemfontein, was despatched by the Mexican, and the fate of that ship, which went down shortly after leaving Cape Town, was of course shared by the films so that a very interesting set of pictorial records lies concealed by the briny waves. Another set taken at Bloemfontein included " Hoisting the Union Jack," " The Balloon Contingent," " Entering Bloemfontein," &c., but unluckily this consignment was sent down by the convoy which the Boers captured, so this also was lost.
As far as comfort is concerned our friend seems to have fared better than the ordinary Tommy, though tinned meat and hard biscuits does not sound an appetising menu. Morning toilet on the Veldt, of which we give a picture, is rather a Bohemian performance, and does not turn out the finished man in immaculate Piccadilly attire. Such trifles are, however, insignificant beside the real dangers which the operator must encounter, and Mr. Rosenthal had some narrow shaves When crossing the Vet river a shell exploded just in front of him, and while outside Pretoria watching a gun at work, a shell burst in the midst of the group, scattering it with all speed. On one occasion when a new field gun was being tested, someone had forgotten to take out the loaded cartridges, and the gun was to come down the hill to be fired in front of Mr. Rosenthal's camera. However, the gun capsized and the charge did no more than tear up the ground for some distance. If the programme had been carried out accurately, both camera and operator would have been sent to " kingdom come " sooner than they either expected or desired. Soon after crossing the Rhenoster river, the nigger youth who attended to the mules, caused a  disturbance. Mr. Rosenthal was aroused from his siesta by the news that the boy had found a Boer legacy in the shape of dynamite, and was dancing about with his arms full of it, regardless of the fact that it would explode if he dropped it. Slumber was no more for our friend, who observed the nigger making for him, needless to say his retreat was speedy,and at a safe distance he induced the boy, with convincing tones, to dispose of his treasure elsewhere. Later on when Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Bennett Burleigh of the Daily Telegraph had out-marched Lord Roberts' column by some distance, they obtained some Kaffir corn for the mules. The boy after feeding the animals, gave them some water, an almost fatal proceeding, as the corn swells so much. The same day, they trekked on till four o'clock in the afternoon, when a homestead was reached. This was occupied by British scouts, who told the correspondents they must retire about five miles, as the Boers were numerous about there. By this time the mules were in a bad way, and one of them wanted to lie down. With great difficulty, and many blows, they were got back to the British lines and much to the relief of their owner managed to survive, as it would have been impossible to get a substitute at this time.
Among the numerous films sent home one of particular note is " The surrender of Kroonstadt to Lord Roberts," it is an excellent record as well as one of the finest films we have seen. Apart from historic value, it is a very interesting picture and is certain to be in demand for some time to come.
Britishers are always ready to applaud the doings of their heroes, and while sitting in comfortable chairs they will feel a virtuous sensation of patriotism, which makes them thoroughly appreciative of the show. 
After the occupation of Pretoria there was little of importance for the cinematograph to do, so Mr. Rosenthal returned home, only to receive instructions to depart for China. Fully equipped, this enterprising cinematographer is now well on his way to the Far East.
The difficulties of obtaining animated photographs at the front are undoubtedly great, but the reward is found in the reception which the British public gives to the picture history of warfare.

The Showman, London, Saturday 1 September 1900, p. 11-13.

En ce qui concerne Joseph Rosenthal, il est rappelé par la Warwick Trading Company qui l'envoie vers la Chine où se trouve déjà le photographe Seymour :

Mr. ROSENTHAL, who has secured such splendid results of the South African War, has been recalled, and is now on his way to China, where he will join our other photographer, Mr. Semour [sic], who left India for China on June 22d last.
The two gentlemen will form our War Staff in China, and we hope to receive the first consignment of Genuine Chinese War Film Negatives the latter part of September.

The Era, Londres, samedi 4 août 1900, p. 24.

La Chine, Hong-Kong et la Corée (août->octobre 1900) 

Il est probable que Joseph Rosenthal soit parti de Londres par le steamer Coromandel, en direction de Colombo, puis qu'il ait continué sa route pour la Chine:

Per P. and O. steamer Himalaya, connecting with the steamer Coromandel at Colombo, from London, Aug. 10.-To Straits, China, and Japan: [...] Mr. Joseph Rosenthal.

The London and China Express, Londres, vendredi 10 août 1900, p. 657. 

Il se rend en Chine afin de couvrir la révolte des Boxers à Pékin ("The Pekin Expedition") et le siège de la ville qui a commencé le 20 juin et qui va durer jusqu'au 14 août 1900, également connu comme les "55 jours de Pékin". Il semble être arrivé juste avant la fin du conflit :   

I have been through four wars with the camera-the South African campaign, the Pekin Expedition, the American War in the Phillipines, and the Russo-Japanese War-and have also visited practically every British colony and Egypt, India, Borneo, China, Japan and the Continental countries In search of pictures.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

Toutefois, il va prolonger son séjour, se rendre à Shanghai, Taku, Tien Tsin et revenir à Pékin :

A CABLE FROM CHINA, dated from Tien Tsin, Oct. 26th, 1900, received, announcing the forwarding to us of important consignments of Negatives of Stirring Events secured at Shanghai, Taku, and Tien Tsin. Mr. Rosenthal further states that he starts for Pekin the following day, having secured persomission from Field-Marshal Count von Waldersee, with every facility granted by the Staff Officers of the Allied Troops now stationed there.

The Era, Londres, samedi 10 novembre 1900, p. 30.

Il est également fort probable qu'il se soit rendu en Corée si l'on en croit les nouveaux 120 "subjects" publiés le 4 avril. Sans qu'il soit possible de préciser la durée de son séjour, on peut penser qu'il quitte la Chine vers la fin de l'année 1900.

Les Philippines ([janvier]-[avril] 1901)

De là, il poursuit sa route vers les Philippines avec l'intention de filmer la guerre americano-philippine (ou "Insurrection des Philippines") qui a commencé en 1899 et qui s'achèvera le 4 juillet 1902. On peut situer son arrivée au début de l'année 1901. La presse londonienne évoque le tournage des vues à la fin du mois de mars:

An Important Consignment of Thirty Negatives is Daily expected to arrive from our Special Photographer now operating at Manila. Send for List of Subjects.

The Era, Londres, samedi 30 mars 1901, p. 28.

Une semaine plus tard The Showman annonce une liste de 28 films tournés aux Philippines sous le titre "With Uncle Sam's Troops in the Phillipines".

1901 04 04 warwick showmanThe Showman, Londres, jeudi 4 avril 1901, p. 1.

Il est possible que Joseph Rosenthal soit resté encore quelques semaines aux Philippines.

L'Australie (<6 mai->6 juin 1901)

La prochaine présence en Australie d'un photographe envoyé par la Warwick Trading Company est annoncée à la fin du mois de mars :

We shall be the First to be enabled to Supply Films of Incidents connected with the
we having dispatched a Special Photographer to Australia for purposes of securing successful Negatives.

The Era, Londres, samedi 30 mars 1901, p. 28.

Il s'agit, en réalité, de Joe Rosenthal, comme va le confirmer The Era dans un long article qu'il consacre à "The Australian Commonwealth" :

It has always been our motto not only to keep pace with our competitors, but also to surpass them in our efforts to secure views of the latest and most historical events, in what-ever quarter of the globe they may occur. With this object in view, we sent our bead photographer, Mr. Joe Rosenthal, who has made such a reputation for himself by the views he has taken in the Transvaal and China, to Australia, with instructions to spare no trouble or expense, as long as he obtained good views of the Heir Apparent's visit to the Australian Colonies.
We are pleased to be able to say, however, that, having given our Mr Rosenthal a free hand, and being a man of great resources, he was enabled to cope with and overcome the restrictions of officialdom, and obtain a fine view of what is undoubtedly one of the most historic and important events of the new century. We would impress upon our customers that this is the only animated photograph of the ceremony in Europe, and, to the best of our belief, we may say, in the world, and practical illustration of our trade mark, that the Warwick Films embrace the World. The film itself faithfully reproduces the Procession, enabling the spectator to enjoy all the pleasures of the spectacle without having the drawback of travelling 15,000 miles to view it.

The Era, Londres, 22 juin 1901, p. 29.

C'est dans le cadre du Commonwealth australien que plusieurs événements donnent lieu à des tournages : The Arrival Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cornwall And York At Melbourne, Australia (6 mai 1901), Parade Of Trades And Friendly Societies Before the Duke And Duchess Of Cornwall And York, At Melbourne (11 mai 1901). 

Curieusement, en ce même mois de mai, le Tivoli Theatre de Sydney offre des projections avec bioscope de la Warwick Trading Company qui présente, en particulier, des vues de HongKong.

L'Égypte ([1901-1902])

Le séjour en Égypte pourrait se situer après le voyage en Australie si l'on s'en tient aux vues égyptiennes diffusées. On retrouve, ainsi, The Traffic Over The Nile Bridge en vente dans The Era dès le 10 août 1901.

rosenthal joseph 1902 egypte"Among the Pyramids, Egypt..."
The Charles Urban Trading Company, We Put the World Before You By Means of The Bioscope and Urban Films, novembre 1903, p. 12.

Joseph Rosenthal se souvient d'une anecdote alors qu'il est en Égypte :

Some of my worst experiences were not in war time at all. [...]. On another occasion, in Egypt, while taking pictures of a party of Arabs displaying their horsemanship, both myself and camera were within an ace of being galloped over by accident.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

Le Canada (1903)

Joseph Rosenthal, toujours au service de Charles Urban, organise un nouveau voyage au Canada. Dans ce cas, il est parrainé par la Canadian Pacific Railway Company pour laquelle il va tourner plusieurs film.

rosenthal joseph 1903 canada
"Mr. J. Rosenthal with Field Equipment"
The Charles Urban Trading Company, We Put the World Before You By Means of The Bioscope and Urban Films, novembre 1903.

Cependant, l'aspect le plus novateur de ses prises de vues est constitué par le tournage, à l'été 1903, d'un film de fiction, adapté du poème de Longfellow Song of Hiawatha, Hiawatha Le film, tourné à Desbarats, dans l'Ontario, dure 15 minutes et met en scène des Amérindiens Ojibway.

La guerre russo-japonaise (février 1904)

La Charles Urban va envoyer deux de ses opérateurs afin de couvrir le conflit russo-japonais. Le premier est Joseph Rosenthal, le second George Rogers. Dès les premiers jours de 1904, la presse annonce le départ prochain de Joseph Rosenthal pour l'Extrême-Orient :

Mr. Rosenthal, The Urban Company's special war correspondent and bioscopist, leaves next week for Tokio for the purpose of securing "films" of events in the Far East.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 15 January 1904, p. 9.

C'est en effet le 23 février qu'il embarque à bord du Prinz Heinrich pour Yokohama. Il évoque, dans un entretien, les risques qu'un tournage en temps de guerre peut comporter :

Yes, I have had some narrow squeaks that I hardly like to think of even now. More than once, men have been killed at my side, but I think my most nerve-racking experience was outside Port Arthur. I had set up my camera on the plain to take a picture, when a Russian battery sighted me and, apparently taking me for a signaller and the camera for a heliograph, began to bombard me with twelve-inch shells. Some of the latter struck the sand on either hand, and made cavities big enough to contain a horse and cart. I was not sorry when I got through my spool on that occasion, I can tell you.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

Il parle également des combats au corps-à-corps en réponse à la question d'un journaliste :

-There are very few pictures of hand-to-hand fightinK ?
- No, because there is nowadays no hand-to-hand fighting to speak of, and what little there is gives no chance for the use of the kinematograph camera. I can recall a terrific hand-to-hand struggle in one of the Port Arthur forts. I was with the Japanese, and carried a hand camera in the hopes of snapping one or two incidents, but the fort was blown up by the Japs and all of us, camera and all, absolutely covered with a thick layer of disintegrated stone.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

La presse évoque de temps à autre le tournage de certaines vues :

The most notable of the series are the views showing the arrival of General Kuropatkin , at Irkoutsh , received by Generals Rennankamph and Grekoff ; the reservists, foot, soldiers, assembling for the march, and a review of the Cossacks. Other films depict a troop of Cossacks starting their march across Lake Baikal, and the Russian infantry actually crossing the frozen lake . Pictures of the transports and the Bailkal [sic] Cossacks on the march to the Yalu are also en route, some secured by Mr. Joseph Rosenthal,  with the Japanese forces, and these will be shown at the Alhambra as soon as they arrive. 

The Stage, Thursday 5 May 1904, p. 18.

Le journal The Era offre des informations détaillées sur les films tournés pour la Charles Urban :

The First Public Exhibition in Europe the above Series took place at the Alhambra. London, Monday Evening. May 2d, 1904. General Verdict-GREAT SUCCESS !
Mr ROGERS has been granted the only Facilities and Sole Permission to take Bioscope Pictures of Scenes with the Russian Forces in Manchuria by the Russian War Office. Further Large Consignments of Negatives are now on their way to England. These will be duly announced as received.
Our Correspondent with the Japanese Forces, also advises forwarding an interesting Series of Pictures with the Russo-Japanese War.
All RUSSIAN and JAPANESE Subject we supply are guaranteed genuine. We do not deal in faked Films, the exhibition of which has a detrimental effect on the animated picture business by bringing the same into disrepute with the public.
NOTE. —This Series is supplied to the Trade on and after May 5th upon condition that it it not to be exhibited within the Half-Mile Radius of the Alhambra, Leicester-square
NOTE.—Further Consignments of Negatives now on the way, showing Progress made by Troops in Manchuria and Korea, will added added as the films arrive in England. Bioscopic Views of Events with the Japanese Army in Korea also expected shortly, Mr Joseph Rosenthal, our War Correspondent and Biographist with the Japanese Forces, has already forwarded a large number of negatives.

The Era, London, Saturday 14 May 1904, p. 32.

Retour en Afrique du Sud (juin 1904)

Joseph Rosenthal est de retour en Afrique du Sud, à Johannesbourg, pour une soirée de gala :

On Friday, June 24, a special performance was given at the Empire Theatre, Johannesburg, in honour of the visit of His Excellency, Lord Milner, Dr. Jameson, Dr. Smart, and the Government House Party. The hall was handsomely decorated with flags and flowers, and Mr. Aubrey Hyman, Mr. Herbert Hyman, and Mr. J. Rosenthal received the party at the Royal entrance. It was a night that will remembered by everybody who had the privilege of being present, and passed off without a hitch. The whole entertainment from start to finish met with an enthusiastic reception, the Government House party leading the applause.

The Entr'acte, Londres, saturday 23 juillet 1904, p. 7.

L'Extrême-Orient (1905)

À l'occasion d'un entretien avec Charles Urban, ce dernier évoque un courrier que lui a envoyé Joseph Rosenthal :

He has just received a letter from his bioscope correspondent in the Far East. Mr. J. Rosenthal, who notifies that unique consignment of films illustrative of the siege of Port Arthur are now upon their way to England. They will be introduced, upon arrival, at an Urbanora matinee. Mr. Rosenthal was the intrepid gentleman who went through the South African campaign in the interests of the Urban Bioscope Company. In the present struggle he was attached to General, Nogi's third division of the Imperial Japanese Army, and was granted the only permit to take animated pictures of the siege Port Arthur. He has fought against immense difficulties, and some perfectly unique pictures will the result.

The Entr'acte, Londres, 21 janvier 1905, p. 6.

C'est The Era qui annonce les vues tournées en Extrême-Orient :

(Further consignments have since been passed by the War Censor, and are now on the way to London.).

The Era, London, Saturday 28 January 1905, p. 29.

La présentation à l'Alhambra des vues tournées en Asie donne lieu à un commentaire détaillé dans la presse londonienne:

On Monday evening, before a crowded audience, Mr. Charles Urban’s Bioscope threw upon the screen the first of the pictures trom the Far East secured by the intrepid "bioscope correspondent,” Mr. J. Rosenthal. Mr. Rosenthal was, it may mentioned, the only animated picture artist permitted by General Nogi to "snap" scenes among the besiegers of Port Arthur. His enterprise was naturally somewhat limited ; but Mr. Rosenthal has succeeded in giving Londoners a deeply engrossing series of pictures -pictures that seem more illuminating to the mind than columns of printed descriptions. In his first series Mr. Rosenthal has gone a little way outside the "lines" in order to picture the transport of supplies to the Japanese forces. One sees a long procession of native carts, drawn by two, and sometimes three, horses, each cart with its attentant coolie, crawling slowly along towards its goal— General Nogi’s investing army, This film is of truly admirable quality. A second picture illustrates the Japanese soldiers at a more gentle task than the slaughtering of Russians. A group of them are "bioscoped" while cleaning their rifles. Several of them turn towards the operator brown faces wreathed in friendly smiles.
In another picture the Urban correspondent has placed his camera upon a point of vantage, and secured pictures of a column of Japanese infantry marching through a mountain pass on its way to Port Arthur. This is a splendid film, full of life and movement. The soldiers come winding up the pass, and walk right by the camera. One gets a capital idea of the sturdy Japanese warriors—and a vivid, though incidental, impression, of the country round Port Arthur. As a sort of final triumph, there is shown upon the screen a vivid picture one of the huge siege guns with which the Japanese worked such havoc. The Urban operator must, one reflects, have been in a position of real danger to secure this picture.

The Entr'acte, Londres, samedi 4 février 1905, p. 7.

rosenthal joseph 1905 port arthur"The last days of Port Arthur-Three Stages. Big Guns-Ruined Walls-Japan's Triumphant Entry."
Pictures by J. Rosenthal of Urbanora
The Sphere, vol. XX, nº 208, Londres, 11 mars 1905, p. 246.

Et après... (1907-1946)


Some of my worst experiences were not in war time at all. In Borneo, for instance, a purgatory of a place, I was laid up with fever. On another occasion, in Egypt, while taking pictures of a party of Arabs displaying their horsemanship, both myself and camera were within an ace of being galloped over by accident.

The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

The Rosie Film Co ([août] 1908-1911)

Joseph Rosenthal va fonder sa propre société vers le milieu de l'année 1908, la Rosie Film Company à laquelle The Bioscope consacre un article :

The Rosie Film Co.
With every prospect of great success this firm has commenced operations at High Street, Croydon. The manager is Mr. J. Rosenthal, than whom no man in the picture business has had wider or more varied experience. With a sound scientific training, and a natural aptitude for artistic work, it is not surprising that Mr. Rosenthal has achieved some of the greatest triumphs that have ever fallen to the lot of a cinematographer. He has travelled through some of the most inaccessible, as well as the most dangerous parts of the world in search of subjects, and has produced within the past few years many miles of negatives.
The head-quarters of the firm at Croydon consist of a charming old 17th century mansion of a type that is now becoming exceedingly rare. The spacious apartments breathe an air of quiet luxury that is quite refreshing after the hustle of city life. In the grounds attached to the house Mr. Rosenthal has installed a complete equipment for the staging and production of films on the most up-to-date lines. Every requirement in the way of apparatus has been supplied by the best makers, and the Rosie Company is now prepared to undertake work of any and every kind for the trade. The films which we were privileged to inspect were certainly of remarkably fine photographic quality, and we can strongly recommend buyers to take an early opportunity of communicating with the firm. The address is " Wrencote," High street, Croydon. Exhibitors who obtain their films through the supply houses should ask for "Rosie" films to he included in their next parcel.

The Bioscope, Londres, 18 septembre 1908, p. 15.

rosenthal joseph 1908 rosie film
The Bioscope, Londres, vendredi 18 septembre 1908, p. 9.

En mars 1909, il va faire partie du bureau de la "Cinematograph Trade Protection Society" dont le président est Frederick Richard Griffiths.

La production de la société privilégie les comédies (The Wedding that didn't come offNo Good for AnythingWhat William DidPercy Wanted a Moustache...), mais Joseph Rosenthal poursuit sa vie de voyageur et on le retrouve ainsi dans la Mer Blanche (1909), dans la Mer du Nord (1910)... Les dernières informations datent de 1911, alors que Joseph Rosenthal est toujours recensé à Croydon. 

Sa carrière se poursuit pendant et au-delà de la première guerre mondiale. En 1917, il voyage en Afrique du Sud, puis il arrive le 4 nov. 1918, à New Yorken provenance de Liverpool, à bord de l'Adriatic. Se rend à Ottawa (Ont.). "Cinematographer" (Josenthal Jun. - 1, Bechmead Ave. Streatham. Ont. Ottawa). J. Rosenthal, photographe, en provenance de Ranggon, Burma, Colombo, Suez, Port Saïd, Marseille, à bord du Yorkshire, débarque le 8 juillet 1921 dans le port de Londres. (56 ans). Il est encore recensé à  Londres 1939. Il décède à Croydon en 1946.

Sa soeur Alice est également cinématographiste ainsi que son fils Joe Rosenthal travaille également dans le monde du cinématographe :

Rosenthal, Joe.-Member of British Cinematographer's Association. Stated in his father's laboratories at the Rosie Film Co. and has had wide experience during nineteen years in the business. Now with British Acoustic Films. Address: 11, Oakhill Road, East Putney, S.W.

The Bioscope British Film Number, mercredi 12 décembre 1928, p. 157.

Comme son père, Joseph Rosenthal jr va voyager de par le monde. En 1924, il quitte Bristol (2 février), à bord du Bayano, à destination de Port of Spain (Trinidad), parcourt plusieurs îles de la Caraïbe dont la Barbade avant de rentrer à Londres (12 avril). Il repart de Londres en 1926 (4 octobre) pour Trinidad à bord du Minna Horn, puis passe par la Barbade avant de rentrer, le 16 janvier 1927, sur le Bayano, à Bristol.


"Our Latest Manufacturer. Mr. J. Rosenthal and Some of His Experiences", The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 15 octobre 1908, p. 555.

URBAN Charles, A Yank in Britain: The Lost Memoirs of Charles Urban, Film Pioneer (ed. Luke McKernan, Hastings, The Projection Box, 1999, 96 p.



Circular Panorama of Singapore and Landing Stage (Urban nº 5861)

Panorama of Singapore Sea Front (Urban nº 5862)

Coolie Boys Diving For Coins (Urban nº 5863)

Shanghai Shops and Opium Dens (Urban nº 5864)

A Busy Street Scene in Shanghai (Urban nº 6874)

The Sikhs' Camp at Shanghai (Urban nº 5875)

Chinese Junks in HongKong Harbour (Urban nº 5876)

Circular Panorama of Hongkong Harbour (Urban nº 5877)

The Chinatown Bazaar at Hongkong (Urban nº 5878)

A Ride on "The Peak" Tramway (Urban nº 5879)


The Duke And Duchess Of York Passing Menzies' Hotel, Bourke-Street, During Their Triumphal Progress Through Melbourne (6 mai 1901) (Urban nº 6173)

The Governor-General (Lord Hopetoun) and the Duke and Duchess of Corn-Wall Ans Staff Going To Open Parliament Al Melbourne (9 mai 1901) (Urban nº 6189)

Parade Of Trades And Friendly Societies Before The Duke And Duchess Of Cornwall And York, At Melbourne (11 mai 1901) (Urban nº 6190)

Panorama Of The Ophir Before Leaving Sydney Harbour (Urban nº 6229)

Panorama View Of Sydney Harbour (Urban nº6230)

The Melbourne Fire Department Answering A Call, And Engines At Work (Urban nº6232)

The Melbourne Fire Departmente At Work (Urban nº6233)