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Jumbo - The Trained Elephant

SUMMARY Camera iris opens from black to a smiling man standing in front of an elephant, who is seated on her haunches on a stool with her front legs raised in the air. They are apparently on a stage with a painted backdrop of a forest. The man gives the elephant a treat, who then stands as the iris closes. Another iris effect opens on a stage with a painted backdrop of a castle. A man enters, dressed in a trainer or ringmaster's uniform of a dark suit with shoulder braids and a white cap. He is followed by Jumbo, a small Indian elephant with clipped tusks wearing a headress or headband. Both bow to the camera. A circus stool is rolled on the stage and Jumbo steps onto it with her front legs. A pony and dog enter the stage and create a domino effect behind the elephant, with the pony's front legs on Jumbo's rear and the dog's front legs on the pony's rear. Cuts to the dog making figure eights around Jumbo's legs as the elephant walks. Cuts to Jumbo lying down, then the pony and dog stand on either side of her with their front legs on her sides. Cuts to the pony walking across the stage on its hind legs, and then bowing with the trainer to the camera. Cuts to Jumbo climbing on the circus stool with all four legs. The trainer gives her one end of a rope to hold with her trunk, and he twirls the other end as the dog jumps the rope. The trainer and the dog then jump the rope together as Jumbo watches. Cuts to the elephant sitting on the stool as the trainer places a handbell on a small table in front of her. Jumbo picks up the bell with her trunk and rings it. The man sets a plate on the table, from which Jumbo eats and then tosses aside. She rings the bell again and appears to drink from the bottle which her trainer brings in response. A series of jump cuts show Jumbo crawling on the ground in a circle on her back knees, standing on her hind legs, performing a handstand on her front legs, balancing on the circus stool with various combinations of two legs, and dancing in place with her front legs. Cuts to a frame of intertitle: "Oh! How she dances." With her back to the camera, Jumbo shuffles her hind legs in a kind of dance. Cuts to a closeup of Jumbo's open mouth as she walks toward the camera. Closes with her picking up a series of flags on the ground with her trunk and tossing them over her back. She holds the last one--a U.S. flag--as she turns in a cirle, the trainer bows, and the dog excitedly jumps around on stage. NOTES Copyright: reg. unknown. Reissued by U.S. Personal Film Co. at an unknown date with three other Spanuth acts, two of which were copyrighted under different release numbers, as "Vaudeville de-luxe: four acts"; LC holds reissue copy. No copyright registration or original production and distribution information could be found for an act under this name, but the film appears to be an uncopyrighted Spanuth's original vod-a-vil movie given the similarities in camera technique to--and its inclusion on the reissue with--identified Spanuths. SUBJECTS Jumbo (Elephant) Elephants--United States. Asiatic elephant--United States. Circus animals--United States. Dogs--United States. Ponies--United States. Silent films. Vaudeville. Animal films and programs. Shorts. RELATED NAMES Spanuth, Hans A., production. Commonwealth Pictures Corporation. U.S. Personal Film Company. AFI/Zouary (Maurice) Collection (Library of Congress) DIGITAL ID (m) varsmp[email protected](varsmp+4002s1))[email protected](varsmp+4002s2))
Length: 04:49


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