This film is part of Free

Herbert Campbell As Little Bobby

A not-so-little variety star shows off his appetite

Comedy 1899 1 mins Silent


Hold onto your lunch! This entertaining, ever-so-slightly disgusting film captures variety star Herbert Campbell, in character as 'Little Bobby' from a contemporary Drury Lane production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Campbell eats his unappealing plate of slop with gusto, washing it down with huge gulps of beer. Thanks to WKL Dickson's patented 68mm film stock (roughly the same proportions as modern IMAX film), we get to see Bobby's woeful table manners in every gross detail.

While the film now seems a straightforward 'facial' - exploiting the novelty and comic potential of what we'd now call a close-up (technically, this is a mid-shot, since it shows the torso as well as head and shoulders). At the time it was made, though it had a more important function, promoting the production.