Fire!

Read the title - that's all you need to know.

Note the exclamation point (also in the title of the other Williamson film that was shown with this one: Stop Thief!). These titles are shouting and, though short, their feeling is strong.

This is one of the most influential of surviving early action films, and it is easy to see why: it begins in a blaze and the momentum never eases. Cutting from the blaze to the approaching fireman and then back again, the film solidly establishes the drama of rescue - a drama device whose popularity still shows no sign of decline.

Was remade for Edison as Edwin S. Porter's (less exciting) 1903 Life of an American Fireman, which led to Porter's 1903 blockbuster The Great Train Robbery.

Related:

Life of an American Fireman

Prelude to 'The Great Train Robbery. Modeled after (but not as exciting as) Williamson's 1901 'Fire!', but the pre-classical instant replay of the rescue (providing both inside and outside views) can seem delightfully offbeat, even avant-garde, for modern viewers accustomed to the classical cross-cutting approach.

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