12 November 2010 | st-shot
Action aplenty in Fireman.
Director Edwin S. Porter ignites things early in Life of an American Fireman with little let up in this 1903 display of narrative filmmaking. Porter literally juxtaposes (early split screen) exposition before sounding the alarm for the smoke eaters to jump into action. After some firehouse mobilization we are treated to a stunning parade of galloping fire engines in what looks to be a twelve alarm fire. Arriving at the fire (actually more smoke) engulfed home the firemen battle their way into the house to save woman and child.
Fireman has all the visual and circumstantial elements of suspense and action. It is the Towering Inferno of its day filled with human drama and in the balance moments. Porter's action is both non-stop and engrossing and if he needed any indication that this stuff had a future for making money he need look no further to the crowd quickly multiplying to watch the racing fire chariots in a top rate action film from this early period of film.