This film is part of Free


A dramatic rescue from a burning building by heroic firemen is one of our most important films

Drama 1901 5 mins Silent


James Williamson's early fire drama is not only a magnificent telling of a traditional fire rescue narrative familiar from magic lantern sets and the popular illustrate press. It is also one of the most important milestones in the development of film language. Watch how the policemen, who first spots the fire, runs from one position outside the burning house into another location outside the fire station. This construction of 'film space' is entirely unremarkable today, but this kind matching action was completely unheard of in 1901. It's a genuine first.