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"Carl J. Chimi" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 4 Jan 2009 20:45:59 -0500
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Almost the only thing I could say for certain about that film is that Jean
is the female who is NOT given the hat.  I am pretty sure that if those two
women are Clemens' daughters, the one opposite him is Jean and the one with
the hat is Clara.  What certainty I have, though, comes only from comparing
her face and form to pictures I have seen of her from around that time.  The
other woman looks as though she could be Clara, but it's much harder to see
her with any detail.

>  Producer/Director (Was Edison on location, did he work the camera?

EXTRMELY unlikely.  I've done a lot of reading into Edison's life and work,
and into the history of motions pictures.  I have never, as far as I can
remember, heard of Edison himself actually running a camera.  If he ever
did, I'd be interested to hear about it.

He had employees who did that sort of thing.

>  Screenplay/Script? (MT does appear to say something to the
> cameraman in =
> a solo shot, and there is dialog at the tea table)

Yes, it would be interesting to see a pristine copy of the motion picture,
with as much of the abrupt changes in contrast minimized, and have a good
lip reader go at it.  I've been doing some searches today for a better copy
of this film, but to no avail.  I'm surprised, given it's historical value,
that there aren't better copies out there.