Chicago Police Parade (1897)
Director: Alexandre Promio
Synopsis: Walking four abreast, in groups of six rows, 144 of Chicago’s finest parade past a stationary camera.
Judging from the officers seen in this 1897 movie from the Lumieres, in order to be eligible to enrol in the Chicago police force it was necessary for an applicant to possess a full droopy moustache. They’re shown on parade here, four abreast with their truncheons held erect at their sides. They make for a rather dour looking body of men, and it’s noticeable just how out of shape many of them appear to be. The film deserves a modest place in cinema history for being the first to be shot in Chicago, but otherwise it’s an unremarkable film. It’s shot so that the flatfoots cross the screen at an angle, and they make a commendable attempt to refrain from glancing at the apparatus filming them. Chicago Police Parade runs for less than a minute but it already begins to grow a little boring in that brief span of time.
(Reviewed 16th August 2014)