This film is part of Free

Hanging out the Clothes; Or, Master, Mistress and Maid

A philandering husband gets hung out to dry on laundry day

Comedy 1897 2 mins Silent


Clean sheets encourage a mucky mind in this short, saucy early film comedy. The master of the house takes his chance to canoodle with the laundrymaid, but the bedsheet can't hide his excitement - not from the audience, nor from his irate missus, who delivers an extended punishment to her wandering spouse. Stage comic Tom Green plays the naughty husband with all the gusto of a man accustomed to throwing his performance to the back row, and that's his own wife Nellie Green giving him a sound thrashing.

This film was directed by Brighton-based early film pioneer George Albert Smith. Tom Green appears in several of his films from this time, as does the actress playing the maid: Smith's wife Laura Bayley, who worked with him on both sides of the camera. Smith first became well-known on the stage, with a hypnotism act, before opening a pleasure garden in Hove, where he put on magic lantern shows. He 1896 he enthusiastically embraced the new medium of cinema and became one of Britain's first filmmakers.