The Show Off (1926)

May 21, 2008 § Leave a comment

ASL: a surprising 5.8 – Melodramas like Vidor’s Love Never Dies (1921) or Elmer Clifton’s action packed Down To The Sea in Ships (1922) have similar ASLs. A comedy such as this one ought to cut faster — Mary Pickford’s Suds (1920) clocked in at a brisker 4.4 seconds/shot. What gives ?

Ford Sterling’s histrionics and an eye for dramatic composition are the answer, as the next striking shots show:


Extra hypothesis: on par with the massive use of dialogue titles over exposition titles (90% of titles are dialogue), with its increasing reliance on psychological motivation, shots let us read human reactions and are therefore longer.

See for yourself: here’s the link to the shot-by-shot breakdown of the film. Thanks to Shot Logger‘s explanation, you now have the timecode as part of the file name (“showoffqq00:45:33qq00503” means the frame you’re looking at came 45 minutes and 33 seconds into the film — qqHoursMinutesSecondsqq)



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