The Shot and the Plot

The Tramp’s Dream

Lubin Manufacturing Co., USA, 1899

Given its vintage, this three-shot subject is unusually complex. It opens with a shot of a tramp sleeping before a picket fence (left) and ends as he awakens in the same place (right). In between, we see him enjoying lunch with a high-society family (center). The title, of course, explains the “plot,” but the shot sequence is clearly conceived to tell us everything visually: the hungry tramp dreams that he’s been treated to a fine meal with respectable people, only to wake up to reality.

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