Cohen's Fire Sale (1907)

Run Time - 10 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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In this period short film steeped in ethnic comedy, confusion reigns as the Cohen Millenery shop loses a parcel newly arrived from Paris. A chase ensues across the Lower East Side to a garbage barge about to leave with some expensive cargo, until Cohen arrives and, with help from an amused police officer, retrieves most of the merchandise, especially the hats. He later sets off a fire-cracker in his store and calls in an alarm to cover the damages, and a "fire sale" ensues. The stereotyped portrayals seem broad and offensive to modern viewers, but this was acceptable humor in 1907, and the movie does capture aspects of street life on the Lower East Side around the turn of the last century.