This film is part of Free

The Economist

Silent comedian Walter Forde takes an illuminating trip around the Osram light bulb factory in this bizarre advertising film.

Advert 1921 13 mins


British silent clown Walter Forde tries to strengthen his resolve after his feisty ‘modern’ girlfriend makes demands that he should economise. Staring into a lightbulb as he attempts to instil himself with renewed backbone, he accidentally hypnotises himself – becoming a strange, invisible, spectral visitor on the production line at the Osram light bulb factory. Despite Forde’s invasive mingling with the employees on the factory floor, all remain resolutely stony-faced throughout the comedian’s voyeuristic visit. Not once does anybody accidentally crack a smile.