LES FARCES DE TOTO GÂTE-SAUCE
In the Absence of Stars
Rescued by Rover, canonized as a milestone of cinema history for its editing, is not very original from a contents point of view. Cinema adopted an old literary motif, and especially around 1905 children are frequently being searched for in films, either because they were stolen, or because they themselves had stolen something (or been up to some other mischief).
The obvious thing to do would have been a program made up of a number of variants, like Voleurs d’enfants, Les petits voleurs, and Le chien de la petite aveugle, but a straight line between two points is often the least interesting connection.
In the cinema of 1905 there are no stars. We see heroes and protagonists who are impersonated by actors. A considerable quantity of films are dedicated to popes, presidents, and royalty, stage celebrities such as Félix Mayol and Loïe Fuller, and naturally to the family stars, the Baby and the Dog. Both are filmed extensively and repeatedly: according to Bousquet’s general index no fewer than 34 Pathé film titles begin with Chien (compared with only four cats)! In 1905, Max Linder was already working for Pathé, but the time of comedy stars had yet to begin.