La Chasse au cambrioleur


La Chasse au cambrioleur

Un cambrioleur est aperçu sortant d'une propriété : habitants et policemen se lancent à sa poursuite et tentent de l'arrêter. Il se réfugie dans un chantier de bois, grimpe sur les piles de bois, poursuivi par un policeman : celui-ci parvient à le saisir, mais, après une courte lutte, est précipité du haut de la pile. Le cambrioleur est enfin arrêté et emmené par les policemen.

GAU 1904-04

The Pickpocket: a Chase through London

Actually taken in the Streets

Part 1. An elderly gentleman is inspecting the articles displayed in a shop window, when he is accosted by a rough-looking youth, who, producing a piece of paper, asks the way to an address written on it.
The old gentleman brings out his glasses, and while he is endeavouring to read the address, the youth adroitly and quickly removes his watch and chain, and pockets it. Then, seeing the old gentlemen is still engaged with the paper, the youth attempts to insert his hand in the gentleman’s pocket. But in this he is not smart enough; the gentleman perceives the intention, and catching him in the act makes an effort to secure the thief, who immediately deals him three or four stunning blows on the face, knocks him down, and takes to his heels. Seeing the old gent on the ground, two assistants come out of the shop, lift him and carry him inside. Meanwhile, a small crowd gathers, swelled shortly by two policemen, who, followed by the crowd, immediately give chase.

Part II.-Shows a side street with a young lady quietly cycling downs towards the camera, when our fugitive pickpocket appears upon the scene. Hastily pushing the girl off the machine, regardless of her resistance, he jumps on and makes off. A policeman arrives in the nick of time and rushes at him, both go over, machine on top, but the thief wrenches himself free, quickly rises, and lifting the bicycle positively throws it on the prostrate bobby, then again darts off for liberty, just as the pursuing crowd and police appear.

Part III.-A main street showing trams and carts passing outside a public-house, in front of which is a horse-trough full of water. Here our Hooligan is once again grappled by a policeman, and, after a short, sharp struggle on the ground, it looks as if he were to be held on this occasion; but he suddenly jumps to his feet and by a sharp movement trips the policeman backwards, splash, into the water-trough, and once again escapes by the skin of his teeth, just as the potman and one or two others come running out of the public-house. They lift the drenched policeman from his unpleasant bath, then join the chase which is by now in full swing.

Part IV.-Seeing a woman standing at her open door, the pickpocket now tries to dash past her into the house; she pluckily attempts to hold him and gets knocked down and kicked for her pains. He then springs over her into the house and slams the door, but the police are hot on his track, and we see them making fruitless efforts to force the door. Then they try the window, which soon gives way, and three or four police, attracted by the whistle and commotion, enter the house by this means. Meanwhile-

Part V.-The ruffianly fugitive is escaping at the back, and we see his head look warily over the garden fence. He climbs over, and after looking up and down the road, starts to walk unconcernedly away.
The ruse is unsuccessful, for a gentleman has run round to the back of the house followed by a portion of the crowd. This gentleman immediately closes with the pickpocket, but is quickly tripped up by the adroit thief, and gets a blow on the head which leaves him stunned, groaning, and only just able to direct the police and crowd which way to run.

Part VI.-Here we see a long alley down which the now hard-pushed thief has run; headed by police, the pursuit-comprising a postman, a butcher-boy, and about fifty other persons, all the usual constituents of a London crowd-is close on his heels.

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Part VII.-Hard-pressed, but not yet done, the pickpocket spies the open gate of a wood-yard, into which he bolts, immediately closing and barring the gates upon his pursuers-only just in time, for the two foremost policemen are close behind him. They are not baffled for long, however; seizing a heavy beam they, use it as a battering-ram. Altogether now-One, two, three, and the gate is burst open by the powerful ram. By this time, as is natural, an enormous crowd has gathered, some of whom try to follow the police into the yard, but are kept out by the latter.

INSIDE.-The thief runs to a pile of timber, looks hastily round, and climbs up the pile with the object of hiding. A plucky policeman soon follows. The top of the pile is now seen. Somme 70 feet below the interior of the yard is visible. First appears the thief, looking for a hiding-place; then follows the policeman. As soon as the latter reaches the top the two grapple, and a desperate struggle takes place. Nearer and nearer they get to the edge, each putting forth every effort to gain the mastery. Once again the pickpocket’s trickiness stands him in good stead, he suddenly wrenches free, then with one blow knocks the policeman off the pile.
At the foot of the pile we now see three other policemen, watching the struggle above, and uncertain as to what course to pursue. One however commences to climb up to the assistance of his comrade, but he has not got far when the latter catches him in his fall from the top of the pile, and both policemen come heavily to the ground together. One of them is seriously injured, and his comrades carefully carry him away.
Meanwhile the pickpocket descends at the other side of the woodstack during this diversion, but the police are on him. The odds are too great, and despite his desperate resistance, the three policemen succeed in handcuffing him, through in order to do so they have to throw him on his back, knell on his legs and chest, and in fact pin each limb.
Finally we see the young ruffian being led off the scene, getting a good glimpse of his forbidding features. In spite of his handcuffs he is far from tames, for as the picture closes he gets home a violent kick in the back of the policeman in front of him.

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Quality excellent; subject thrilling and exciting beyond description.

GAU 1904-GB


1 Gaumont 772 L 139 (GAU 1904-GB)
2 [Alfred, Claude Bromhead]  
3 [09/1903]-<13/11/1903 50m/300f
4 Grande-BretagneLondres  
Messrs L. Gaumont and Co., the pioneers of the cinematograph invention, who were responsible for the series of pictures described, have some amusing stories to tell of the incidents that occur when these outdoor dramas are enacted. One of their most popular pieces depicts a pickpocket-chase through the streets of London. The realism of the effect was greatly increased because the crowd joined in the hue and cry, and two or three zealous policemen, not perceiving that it was a sham performance, joined forces with the “bobbies” employed by the company.
In one scene where a policeman is ducked in a horse-trough one old gentleman, misunderstanding the situation, gallantly came to his rescue, and was exceedingly annoyed to learn afterwards that his picture would figure at the leading “halls”.

Daily Express, London, novembre 13, 1903, p. 4.