D・W・グリフィス監督初期作品の一つながら現在DVDで発売されているグリフィス短編集（キノ・インターナショナル社の『バイオグラフ短編集（Griffith Masterworks: Biograph Shorts）』、映画保存協会の『発見の日々（Griffith: Years of Discovery 1908-1914）』、グレープヴァイン社の『監督グリフィス（D.W. Griffith: Director）』シリーズ）いずれにも収められていない作品。
BETTY’S fiance, a railroad detective, is called out of town on private business and leaves his handcuffs in the care of the girl telegrapher. Shortly after the detective’s departure Betty receives a message to be on the lookout for Smoke-Up Smith, a notorious thief — a full description being given. Smith appears at the station, feeling assured that he will not be recognized and engages quarters at a nearby boarding house.
Betty, fully convinced that Smith is the person described in the message, slips the handcuffs into her pocket and goes over to the boarding house, where the happy-go-lucky thief is playing “blind man’s buff » with the young boarders. This gives Betty an opportunity to slip the irons on Smith and he immediately shows his true identity by the disturbance he causes, ere he is imprisoned in the station.
Smith manages to escape and, entering a locomotive, speeds down the track and out of the yards. Betty, however, discovers the flight of the thief and hastens to another engine, prevailing upon the engineer to steam up and follow in pursuit. A thrilling chase takes place and the criminal is captured. As the locomotive returns with the prisoner, the detective steps off a train and taking charge of “Smoke-Up,’’ congratulates the young operator on her bravery.
蒸気機関車を大きく扱い、駅構内に勤める女性を主人公としたアクションドラマ、という非常にピンポイントな短編映画がハリウッドでは1911年頃から盛んに作られるようになりました。その嚆矢となったのがグリフィスの『女の叫び』（The Lonedale Operator、バイオグラフ社、1911年）で、この流れはすぐにハリウッド史上最長の連続活劇『ヘレンの冒険』（The Hazards of Helen、カレム社、1914年）へと繋がっていきます。
The other film featuring the Ainu people in 1912 is entitled Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos (aka The Hairy Ainos) and was produced by Pathé Frères Company, which had bought the cinematograph patents in 1902 and succeeded the Lumière brothers in the production of actulités. Very soon, Société Pathé Frères became the biggest film production company of the time, and in 1909, it established headquarters in Japan. Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos, which only lasts for three minutes, begins with four men followed by four women posing before a chise and an intertitle explaining that the Ainu were mainly hunters and fishers. In the next scene, a woman and a child are seen walking with the sea in the background and afterwards, two men enter scene on a chip (Ainu canoe). […]
When Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos was released, the astonishment produced by primitive cinema was already overcome. Pathé film demonstrated an interest to move away from ritualized traditions and a willingness to get closer to everyday chores. Unlike previous actuality films, this footage does not contain traditional dances or other distinctive elements depicted by Girel. Instead, the sequence features a woman and her child before a dilapidated hut; a wide shot framing an elderly man who does not wear the ceremonial clothes nor any raunpe on his head, and his beard can be hardly seen.
Centeno Martín, Marcos
“Gazes outside the Representation. Early Film Portrayals of the Ainu People (1897-1918)”,
Orientalia, issue 17, 2017, pp. 189-211