Early Films Featuring Extremely Horrible Picture Quality

by Tornado_Sam | created - 11 Oct 2017 | updated - 11 Oct 2017 | Public

This film list features some early films that are preserved badly. They differ.

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1. Man Walking Around the Corner (1887)

1 min | Documentary, Short

A frame sequence featuring a man walking around a corner.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince

Votes: 1,294

A historical frame sequence, blurry and hard to define. Certain frames are extremely damaged.

2. Accordion Player (1888)

1 min | Documentary, Short

A very brief film of a man playing the accordion.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince | Star: Adolphe Le Prince

Votes: 1,252

One of the earliest films, this one is somewhat blurry but is still very watchable.

3. Monkeyshines, No. 1 (1890)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

One of W.K.L. Dickson's laboratory workers horses around for the camera.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise | Star: Giuseppe Sacco Albanese

Votes: 1,413

Presumably the first film in the USA this film is extremely blurry and the figure shown is impossible to define, looking like a ghost.

4. Monkeyshines, No. 2 (1890)

1 min | Short

In an experiment that follows up on the results of 'Monkeyshines, No. 1', an Edison company worker again moves around in front of the motion picture camera.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise | Star: Giuseppe Sacco Albanese

Votes: 1,027

Slightly better than Monkeyshines No 1.

5. Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894)

1 min | Documentary, Short

A man (Thomas Edison's assistant) takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. This is one of the earliest Thomas Edison films and was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States.

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Star: Fred Ott

Votes: 1,980

The quality of this film is rather scratched.

6. Card Party (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Biography

In what is considered to be the first remake in the history of cinema, the grand French director, Georges Méliès, directs his very first short film, influenced by the Lumière Brothers' original story in "Partie d'écarté (1896)".

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Octavie Huvier, Gaston Méliès, Georges Méliès, Georgette Méliès

Votes: 986

Melies First film is rather shaky but is still quite watchable.

7. The House of the Devil (1896)

Not Rated | 3 min | Short, Horror

With the help of a magic cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a variety of supernatural characters.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Jules-Eugène Legris, Georges Méliès

Votes: 3,226

This early Melies film is damaged badly, with scratches and is also a tad blurry.

8. Girls Swinging (1897)


In this 17-second short, a young woman is sitting on a swing and two other women alternate pushing her.

Votes: 68

This peepshow film is extremely scratched.

9. Panorama from the Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1899)

Documentary, Short

Filmed from the Brooklyn tower of the bridge, this is a panorama starting at Manhattan's Battery and then panning northward along the East River shoreline.

Votes: 159

An early panning shot documentary. Print is a bit scratched.

10. Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison (1901)

4 min | Short, Drama, History

This early docudrama shows Auburn Prison and recreates the electrocution of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley of the United States. Some versions offer additional footage at... See full summary »

Director: Edwin S. Porter

Votes: 342

A drama film with a rather blurred condition.

11. The Draped Model (1902)


A photographer takes pictures of a woman in a leotard, who is draped with a light sash. The film survives as a paper print.

Votes: 54

Scratched Peepshow film.

12. Grandpa's Reading Glass (1902)

2 min | Drama, Short

A girl looks through her grandpa's glasses at various objects, which are shown magnified.

Director: Wallace McCutcheon

Votes: 70

A grainy print is the survivor of this film.

13. Electrocuting an Elephant (1903)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short, Horror

The execution of Topsy, a female elephant, in a publicity stunt advertising the opening of Luna Park on Coney Island. Topsy was originally owned by Forepaugh Circus where she killed a ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Carl Goliath, Topsy

Votes: 1,660

This film has been badly scratched and is extremely grainy.

14. Discovery of Bodies (1903)

Short, Adventure

In the next scene all that is left of the cabin is a smoldering ruin. A company of trappers come rapidly out of the forest and discover the bodies of the unfortunate man and woman. With ... See full summary »

Votes: 51

This drama film is very grainy and scratched, badly battered.

15. The Bold Bank Robbery (1904)

6 min | Crime, Short

A gang of criminals plans and executes the robbery of a bank in Philadelphia. However, the police are alerted and a chase through the city's streets ensues.

Director: Jack Frawley

Votes: 102

A crime film. The print is extremely blurry and grainy.

16. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1907)

10 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

Undersea adventures in a submarine by a dreaming fisherman who encounters mystical underwater creatures at odds with him. A parody on Jules Verne's novel.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Manuel, Georges Méliès

Votes: 471

The surviving print of this film is not only a fragment, it also appears to be rather blurry. The whites in the print are very white.

17. The King and the Jester (1907)

5 min | Short

The scene opens with the jester being spurned by the king, who has evidently partaken of food which disagrees with him, and instead of being amused by the frolics of his jester he casts him... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 131

The quality of this film stays good until near the end where the print becomes so damaged the action is impossible to see.

18. The Voyage of the Bourrichon Family (1913)

Not Rated | 15 min | Short, Comedy

The Bourrichon Family is in debt and must go on a journey to escape their creditors. But these creditors are persistent and pursue the family wherever they go, until the family must finally... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès

Votes: 154

This film suffers from nitrate cellulose deterioration for the first four minutes.

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