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French Cops Learning English,[2][3] originally copyrighted in the United States as French Interpreter Policeman,[1] is a 1908 French short silent comedy film directed by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 1288–1293 in its catalogues.[1]

Contents

1 Plot 2 Production 3 References 4 External links

Plot[edit] In a room labelled "English School under the management of Miss Blackford," four French policemen and their chief are practicing English words. Miss Blackford, writing "What a fair fish" on her blackboard, tells one of the policemen to translate it into French; his attempt is "Va te faire fiche." The process repeats, with "Very well thank you" translated as "Manivelle St. Cloud." Miss Blackford, holding up a placard reading "Conversation," lets in four young English ladies; the policemen and ladies court each other fervently. The lesson is interrupted by the entrance of a higher-ranking officer, a Police Inspector, who is appalled at the sight of the police force in chaotic flirtation. However, when the "Conversation" placard is shown to him by way of explanation, he is immediately appeased, and nods cheerfully. The entire classroom bursts into a raucous can-can dance as the Inspector holds up a placard reading "Entente Cordiale." Production[edit] In 1908, the Motion Picture Patents Company changed the standardized prices used in the American film market, with films priced systematically by length. Though previous price standardizations had been useful to Méliès, the 1908 changes worked against him and contributed to his financial difficulties; under the new standards, his carefully planned and executed films were too expensive and time-consuming to make a profit.[4] In an attempt to keep up with the new demands, Méliès doubled his output in 1908, turning out simpler films as quickly as possible from his two glass studios in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis.[2] French Cops Learning English was filmed in Méliès's original glass studio, Studio A, rather than the larger and newer Studio B.[5] Méliès plays the Police Inspector.[6] As the placard at the end of the film suggests, the film is a topical comedy about the Entente Cordiale established in 1904 between Great Britain and France.[2][6] During the Entente, English tourists flocked to Paris; by 1907, they were so common that the Parisian Prefect of Police, Louis Lépine, formed a squad of police interpreters to help tourists overcome the language barrier. Méliès used the topical subject to poke fun of the police in their roles as authority figures, a recurring theme in his films.[6] As Richard Abel has noted, Méliès's set is designed on a rigorously geometrical layout, emphasizing the systematic and marionette-like antics of the police students.[2] Miss Blackford's outfit is that of a gommeuse,[6] a sensual and eccentrically comic type of café concert singer.[7] The extensive use of placards and other written text is unusual for a Méliès film, but necessary for plot comprehension, and especially for the wordplay.[6] References[edit]

^ a b c Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 354, ISBN 9782732437323  ^ a b c d Abel, Richard (1998), The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896–1914, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 216  ^ Méliès, Georges (2008), Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema (DVD; short film collection), Los Angeles: Flicker Alley, ISBN 1893967352  ^ Frazer, John (1979), Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Méliès, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., pp. 46–48, ISBN 0-8161-8368-6  ^ Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 253 ^ a b c d e Essai de reconstitution du catalogue français de la Star-Film; suivi d'une analyse catalographique des films de Georges Méliès recensés en France, Bois d'Arcy: Service des archives du film du Centre national de la cinématographie, 1981, pp. 319–320, ISBN 2903053073, OCLC 10506429  ^ Gordon, Rae Beth (2001), Why the French Love Jerry Lewis: From Cabaret to Early Cinema, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 74–75 

External links[edit]

French Cops Learning English on IMDb

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Georges Méliès

Films 1896–1899

Actualities (1896–1900) Playing Cards (1896) Conjuring (1896) Watering the Flowers (1896) Arrival of a Train at Vincennes Station (1896) The Rag-Picker (1896) Post No Bills (1896) The Rescue on the River (1896) A Terrible Night (1896) A Lightning Sketch (1896) Conjurer Making Ten Hats in Sixty Seconds (1896) A Serpentine Dance (1896) Miss de Vère (English Jig) (1896) The Vanishing Lady (1896) The Haunted Castle (1896) A Nightmare (1897) Comedian Paulus Singing (1897) A Funny Mahometan (1897) An Hallucinated Alchemist (1897) The Haunted Castle (1897) On the Roofs (1897) Reconstructed newsreels (1897–1902) The Last Cartridges (1897) The Surrender of Tournavos (1897) Sea Fighting in Greece (1897) Gugusse and the Automaton (1897) Between Calais and Dover (1897) The Laboratory of Mephistopheles (1897) The Bewitched Inn (1897) After the Ball (1897) Divers at Work on the Wreck of the "Maine" (1898) The Magician (1898) The Famous Box Trick (1898) Pygmalion and Galatea (1898) Adventures of William Tell (1898) The Astronomer's Dream (1898) The Cave of the Demons (1898) The Four Troublesome Heads (1898) The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1898) Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb (1899) The Devil in a Convent (1899) The Pillar of Fire (1899) The Clown and Automobile (1899) A Mysterious Portrait (1899) Christ Walking on the Water (1899) The Dreyfus Affair (1899) Cinderella (1899) The Mysterious Knight (1899)

Films 1900–1905

Addition and Subtraction (1900) The Cook's Revenge (1900) The Misfortunes of an Explorer (1900) Paris Exposition, 1900 (1900) The One-Man Band (1900) Joan of Arc (1900) The Rajah's Dream (1900) The Two Blind Men (1900) Thanking the Audience (1900) The Christmas Dream (1900) Fat and Lean Wrestling Match (1900) A Fantastical Meal (1900) Going to Bed Under Difficulties (1900) The Doctor and the Monkey (1900) China Versus Allied Powers (1900) The Brahmin and the Butterfly (1900–01) Red Riding Hood (1900–01) The Magician's Cavern (1901) Excelsior! (1901) The Sacred Fountain (1901) Bluebeard (1901) The Man with the Rubber Head (1901) The Eruption of Mount Pelee (1902) The Catastrophe of the Balloon "Le Pax" (1902) A Trip to the Moon (1902) The Shadow-Girl (1902) The Coronation of Edward VII (1902) The Treasures of Satan (1902) Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants (1902) Robinson Crusoe (1902) The Enchanted Well (1903) The Inn Where No Man Rests (1903) The Oracle of Delphi (1903) A Spiritualistic Photographer (1903) The Melomaniac (1903) The Monster (1903) The Kingdom of the Fairies (1903) The Infernal Cauldron (1903) The Damnation of Faust (1903) A Wager Between Two Magicians, or Jealous of Myself (1904) Faust and Marguerite (1904) The Barber of Seville (1904) The Wonderful Rose-Tree (1904) The Impossible Voyage (1904) The Christmas Angel (1904) The Living Playing Cards (1905) The Palace of the Arabian Nights (1905) An Adventurous Automobile Trip (1905) Rip's Dream (1905) The Inventor Crazybrains and His Wonderful Airship (1905)

Films 1906–1912

A Mix-up in the Gallery (1906) The Chimney Sweep (1906) A Desperate Crime (1906) The Merry Frolics of Satan (1906) The Mysterious Retort (1906) Robert Macaire and Bertrand (1906) Under the Seas (1907) How Bridget's Lover Escaped (1907) Tunnelling the English Channel (1907) The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon (1907) Hamlet (1907) Shakespeare Writing "Julius Caesar" (1907) Satan in Prison (1907) Humanity Through the Ages (1908) Why That Actor Was Late (1908) Long Distance Wireless Photography (1908) A Fake Diamond Swindler (1908) The Miser (1908) A Love Tragedy in Spain (1908) Mishaps of the New York–Paris Race (1908) The Woes of Roller Skaters (1908) French Cops Learning English (1908) Fun With the Bridal Party (1908) Buncoed Stage Johnnie (1908) Honeymoon in a Balloon (1908) Fortune Favors the Brave (1908) Seein' Things (1908) The Diabolic Tenant (1909) Whimsical Illusions (1909) The Spider and the Butterfly (1909) Baron Munchausen's Dream (1911) Cinderella or the Glass Slipper (1912) The Conquest of the Pole (1912) The Knight of the Snows (1912) The Voyage of the Bourrichon Family (1912)

Related

Filmography Bibliography Georges Méliès in culture Le Grand Méliès (1952 documentary) The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007 book) Hugo (2011 film) Jehanne d'Alcy (wife) Gaston

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