Volume 2: Filmography

 

HER NEPHEWS FROM LABRADOR

 

 

British release title: THE NEPHEWS FROM LABRADOR

January 26, 1913 (Sunday)

Length: 1 reel (split with Los Angeles the Beautiful at the end)

Character: Comedy

Cast: Billy Noel (a nephew), Ed Brady (a nephew), W. Ray Johnston(?), Phil Nesbaum(?)

Notes: 1. The Motion Picture Story Magazine, January 26, 1913, identified Phil Nesbaum as an actor in the part of a nephew. 2. In a synopsis printed in The Bioscope, May 1, 1913, the title was listed as The Nephews From Labrador. In recollections given in print years later, W. Ray Johnston remembered the title incorrectly, as My Cousins From Labrador. His reminiscences notwithstanding, it is not certain that Johnston was actually involved with this film, and his attribution above is unverified. 3. Billy Noel and Ed Brady, who appeared in this film, were known in New Rochelle as human polar bears. For another instance of their swimming in icy water, see An Hour of Youth, released April 12, 1914.

 

 

SYNOPSIS, The Moving Picture World, February 1, 1913:

A farmer's wife gets word from her brother in Labrador that his sons are visiting the United States for the first time, and that she should show them every courtesy in her power, as they have 'never been out of Labrador.' With her husband, the aunt meets the train bringing the boys from the cold country. It was snowing when the train pulls in and the farmer and his wife are warmly clad, but to their dismay their nephews alight from the train in shirtsleeves, their coats over their arms, and fanning themselves vigorously. Finally, their troubled relatives force them to put on their coats and muffle up warmly. To please the aunt and the uncle the boys submit, but just the same they make a mysterious trip out of the house each day and come back all smiles. The aunt decides to ferret out the mystery. She follows them to a neighboring lake where the red ball is up, sees them discard their clothes and don bathing suits and then whirl about on the ice. After this they roll in the snow and then do a dive into the icy water. The aunt is well-nigh attacked by nervous prostrations at the sight of this, but the boys do not catch pneumonia or anything else dreadful, as she expected, and all ends well - and cold.

 

REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, February 8, 1913:

This ingenious mixture of humor and novelty will cause gasps of astonishment wherever shown. The young men from Labrador can't keep cool in the middle of a severe winter. They appear in shirtsleeves and carry palm leaf fans in zero weather. Later they skate on the ice, attired simply in bathing suits, and plunge repeatedly into the icy water. There is no faking in the picture, and it makes one wonder if the performers escaped pneumonia after this feat. It has to be seen to be believed. A very decided novelty.

 

REVIEW, The New York Dramatic Mirror, February 5, 1913:

Drawing our conclusions from the various feats these young nephews performed, we would say that they were boys of amazing constitutions. To watch their performances, even on the screen, is enough to chill the blood of the average spectator - and therein lies the spell, the fascination, or charm (whichever you see fit to term it) of the picture. The antics of these boys possess, in a certain sense, humor, enhanced by the character of the old aunt, who sits warm and snug at home believing her boys to be safe. The setting is meant for Alaska, snow is on the ground and ice on the ponds. The two boys, visiting from Labrador, complain of the heat, and manifest their discomfort by going about in their shirt sleeves with a fan. However, it is not until they remove their clothes and indulge in a swim out in the open, surrounded by ice and snow, that we gasp.

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.