This film is part of Free

A Photograph Taken from Our Area Window

Street-level storytelling with a saucy twist in this voyeuristic Victorian comedy

Comedy 1901 1 mins Silent


All good Victorian ladies covered their ankles in public - which makes this a rather risqué film. The sketch by director George Albert Smith poses as an 'actuality' film - with a camera in a basement window spying on passersby at pavement level. But of course the action is staged to give the audience a few discreet thrills, as they become voyeurs peeping at exposed legs. One lady lifts her foot to accept a gentleman's assistance and another woman hitches up her skirts to scratch her ankle.

The handkerchief the last lady drops, which is chivalrously picked up by a gentleman, signifies the start of a flirtation. But there's a laugh for the audience here, as he is clearly quite well-to-do, while she, with her basket of washing and itchy stockings, is markedly less glamorous.