The Girls in the Overalls (1904)

22 October 1904

Director:

Harry Buckwalter

Production Company:

Selig Polyscope Co.
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HISTORY

The Selig Polyscope catalog summarized this film as follows: “The story is briefly told. Regis Vidal settled on a 725-acre ranch near Gunnison, Colorado. Eight daughters and one son were born. As the family grew up times became hard and the father was compelled to borrow $15,000 on the ranch. He fell into the clutches of a money-lending shark and the worry caused his death. A year later the mother died, leaving the children even more deeply in debt. With true Western spirit the children decided to work the ranch themselves. The girls donned overalls and took up the heavy drudgery of the field. Like true French maidens they lost none of their graces or charms. Neither could they forego the habit of wearing high-heeled shoes while at work. The film shows the girls at work and at play. SCENE 1. GOING TO WORK.--The film opens with a view of the Vidal ranch house, in Colorado. The girls have been eating dinner and as they come out they grasp the tools with which they work the fields. Some have hoes, others have rakes and Miss Mathilde takes up the heavy axe with which she splits the winter supply of kindling. They walk past the camera and each girl appears more than life size, and perfect portraits of the rustic beauties can be seen. Some have hands in pockets and others walk with queenly grace, but all are modest and attractive. SCENE 2. CHOPPING WOOD FOR WINTER.--The big house needs a large supply of kindling for the winter and the girls "get busy" with the work. They saw and hack and carry and split and chop like old woodsmen, and ... More Less

The Selig Polyscope catalog summarized this film as follows: “The story is briefly told. Regis Vidal settled on a 725-acre ranch near Gunnison, Colorado. Eight daughters and one son were born. As the family grew up times became hard and the father was compelled to borrow $15,000 on the ranch. He fell into the clutches of a money-lending shark and the worry caused his death. A year later the mother died, leaving the children even more deeply in debt. With true Western spirit the children decided to work the ranch themselves. The girls donned overalls and took up the heavy drudgery of the field. Like true French maidens they lost none of their graces or charms. Neither could they forego the habit of wearing high-heeled shoes while at work. The film shows the girls at work and at play. SCENE 1. GOING TO WORK.--The film opens with a view of the Vidal ranch house, in Colorado. The girls have been eating dinner and as they come out they grasp the tools with which they work the fields. Some have hoes, others have rakes and Miss Mathilde takes up the heavy axe with which she splits the winter supply of kindling. They walk past the camera and each girl appears more than life size, and perfect portraits of the rustic beauties can be seen. Some have hands in pockets and others walk with queenly grace, but all are modest and attractive. SCENE 2. CHOPPING WOOD FOR WINTER.--The big house needs a large supply of kindling for the winter and the girls "get busy" with the work. They saw and hack and carry and split and chop like old woodsmen, and through it all exhibit a feminine touch and swing that is laughable in the extreme. Still, they manage to chop up huge tree trunks and pile up cords of wood in a short time and without a complaint or frown. SCENE 3. LUNCH TIME. O, THAT WATERMELON.--They stop their labors to eat several juicy melons. They try to eat as boys are supposed to when they are paying a midnight visit to the farmer's melon patch, but the more they try the worse they act, and the feast is lively and funny. SCENE 4. A LITTLE GAME OF LEAP FROG.--By way of diversion, the girls stop on their way to work and indulge in a few moments of leap frog. Their antics and contortions are laughable in the extreme. The first girl gets down on hands and knees and the next jumps over and also gets down. Then it is a system of rotation and eventually the first is last and the last is first, not counting the little accident that happens during the play. SCENE 5. RAKING HAY.--The smaller girls handle the horse rakes and gather up the heavy crop into piles ready for the go-devils to take away. The sight of bright-eyed, smiling girls driving a horse hitched to a rake is quite amusing, but when the girls wear overalls and high-heeled shoes and even black lace waists under the bibs of the jeans, it is doubly interesting. SCENE 6. STACKING HAY.--The scenes in the hayfield are more sedate, though there are many amusing incidents. The picture gives a very clear idea of how an immense Colorado hayfield is handled. The girls handle the "go-devils" with the skill of jockeys and they bring up to the stacker immense piles of hay that seem almost as much as entire crops elsewhere. Some of the girls are on the "go-devils." Another handles the stacker and trips the elevator just at the right moment. Another pilots the stacker horse forward and backward and still another is on top of the stack carefully disposing of the hay as it is sent up. SCENE 7. FUN ON A HAY STACK.--But these jolly girls can't be suppressed. After the stack is finished they have fun sliding down the slippery sides and piling up in a heap at the bottom.”
       Harry Buckwalter (1867-1930) was a reporter for Denver, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News and perhaps that state’s earliest filmmaker. Selig Polyscope released Buckwalter’s 1902-04 Colorado travelogue movies but generally did not describe them in its catalog.
       William N. Selig (1864-1948) formed one of the earliest film operations, the Mutoscope & Film Company, in Chicago, IL, in 1896. He changed the name the following year to the Selig Polyscope Company. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
FILM HISTORY
1990
[Vol. 4 No. 2], pp. 89-100.
KOCC
5 Nov
p. 244.
NYC
4 Oct
p. 815.
NYC
19 Nov 04
p. 924.
Treasures from the Film Archives
p. 246.
VFI
26 Jan 1907.
---
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 October 1904
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
350
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Kleine summary: The story is briefly told. Regis Vidal settled on a 725-acre ranch near Gunnison, Colorado. Eight daughters and one son were born. As the family grew up times became hard and the father was compelled to borrow $15,000 on the ranch. He fell into the clutches of a money-lending shark and the worry caused his death. A year later the mother died, leaving the children even more deeply in debt. With true Western spirit the children decided to work the ranch themselves. The girls donned overalls and took up the heavy drudgery of the field. Like true French maidens they lost none of their graces or charms. Neither could they forego the habit of wearing high-heeled shoes while at work. The film shows the girls at work and at play. SCENE 1. GOING TO WORK.--The film opens with a view of the Vidal ranch house, in Colorado. The girls have been eating dinner and as they come out they grasp the tools with which they work the fields. Some have hoes, others have rakes and Miss Mathilde takes up the heavy axe with which she splits the winter supply of kindling. They walk past the camera and each girl appears more than life size, and perfect portraits of the rustic beauties can be seen. Some have hands in pockets and others walk with queenly grace, but all are modest and attractive. SCENE 2. CHOPPING WOOD FOR WINTER.--The big house needs a large supply of kindling for the winter and the girls "get busy" with the work. They saw and hack and carry and split and chop like old woodsmen, and through it all exhibit a ... +


Kleine summary: The story is briefly told. Regis Vidal settled on a 725-acre ranch near Gunnison, Colorado. Eight daughters and one son were born. As the family grew up times became hard and the father was compelled to borrow $15,000 on the ranch. He fell into the clutches of a money-lending shark and the worry caused his death. A year later the mother died, leaving the children even more deeply in debt. With true Western spirit the children decided to work the ranch themselves. The girls donned overalls and took up the heavy drudgery of the field. Like true French maidens they lost none of their graces or charms. Neither could they forego the habit of wearing high-heeled shoes while at work. The film shows the girls at work and at play. SCENE 1. GOING TO WORK.--The film opens with a view of the Vidal ranch house, in Colorado. The girls have been eating dinner and as they come out they grasp the tools with which they work the fields. Some have hoes, others have rakes and Miss Mathilde takes up the heavy axe with which she splits the winter supply of kindling. They walk past the camera and each girl appears more than life size, and perfect portraits of the rustic beauties can be seen. Some have hands in pockets and others walk with queenly grace, but all are modest and attractive. SCENE 2. CHOPPING WOOD FOR WINTER.--The big house needs a large supply of kindling for the winter and the girls "get busy" with the work. They saw and hack and carry and split and chop like old woodsmen, and through it all exhibit a feminine touch and swing that is laughable in the extreme. Still, they manage to chop up huge tree trunks and pile up cords of wood in a short time and without a complaint or frown. SCENE 3. LUNCH TIME. O, THAT WATERMELON.--They stop their labors to eat several juicy melons. They try to eat as boys are supposed to when they are paying a midnight visit to the farmer's melon patch, but the more they try the worse they act, and the feast is lively and funny. SCENE 4. A LITTLE GAME OF LEAP FROG.--By way of diversion, the girls stop on their way to work and indulge in a few moments of leap frog. Their antics and contortions are laughable in the extreme. The first girl gets down on hands and knees and the next jumps over and also gets down. Then it is a system of rotation and eventually the first is last and the last is first, not counting the little accident that happens during the play. SCENE 5. RAKING HAY.--The smaller girls handle the horse rakes and gather up the heavy crop into piles ready for the go-devils to take away. The sight of bright-eyed, smiling girls driving a horse hitched to a rake is quite amusing, but when the girls wear overalls and high-heeled shoes and even black lace waists under the bibs of the jeans, it is doubly interesting. SCENE 6. STACKING HAY.--The scenes in the hayfield are more sedate, though there are many amusing incidents. The picture gives a very clear idea of how an immense Colorado hayfield is handled. The girls handle the "go-devils" with the skill of jockeys and they bring up to the stacker immense piles of hay that seem almost as much as entire crops elsewhere. Some of the girls are on the "go-devils." Another handles the stacker and trips the elevator just at the right moment. Another pilots the stacker horse forward and backward and still another is on top of the stack carefully disposing of the hay as it is sent up. SCENE 7. FUN ON A HAY STACK.--But these jolly girls can't be suppressed. After the stack is finished they have fun sliding down the slippery sides and piling up in a heap at the bottom.
+

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.