5.2/10
180
5 user 1 critic

Midwife to the Upper Classes (1902)

Sage-femme de première classe (original title)
A young couple go shopping for a baby.

Director:

Alice Guy
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alice Guy
Germaine Serand Germaine Serand
Yvonne Serand Yvonne Serand
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Storyline

A young couple go shopping for a baby.

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Connections

Featured in Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Another Alice Guy film with somewhat offensive content. Racism rears its ugly head!
19 July 2018 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Alice Guy was the first female film director. This film features a moment which clearly has racist tones and even without that, the film is very unimpressive artistically even for 1902. Her first film 'La Fee Aux Choux' is actually lost. No footage survives. Online footage claiming to be that film is a remake from the year 1900 by the same woman director. The 1900 version depicts what amounts to risking harm to babies when the actress (apparently also Alice Guy) lets go of a baby's head allowing it to fall backwards onto the floor then picks another baby up by one arm/shoulder! Anyone knows these things could cause a baby pain and possible injury.

This 1902 film by the same director similarly involves a strange, stagebound scenario involving babies. First there is a stall presenting dolls to a couple. This whole scene is artistically unimpressive even for its age but it is the next scene which makes the film even more problematic. There is a bizarre setting where numerous babies are presented to a couple seemingly for them to pick one to take home. The babies are presented like showing items in a shop and are placed - more carefully than in Guy's earlier film, thankfully - on the floor after being briefly looked at by the couple. The weirdness of the scene and the lack of value shown for the babies which are left on the floor on cloths like discarded toys makes this a poor scene but worse than that, a black baby is at one point presented to the couple for approval and they recoil and react with total disgust. The baby is then discarded and more white babies are presented. The racism of this is obvious. What makes this even more annoying is that Alice Guy is promoted by her fans as a pioneer of race relations having made a film in 1912 called A Fool and His Money apparently featuring an all black cast. Well on viewing this film it is clear Ms. Guy has no place as a race relations pioneer in film and there is also zero of artistic quality to recommend it.

By 1900 there were impressive and innovative works of early film being produced by the likes of Georges Melies, Walter R. Booth and James Williamson which are hugely technically and artistically advanced compared to this very crude and inept film. In 1902, the same year as this film, Melies created the famous, hugley innovative and pioneering work Le Voyage Dans La Lune. That film was a film running to far greater length over various scenes depicting a full story of a trip to the moon and featuring numerous special effects and cutting edge techniques. This Alice Guy film is truly pathetic in comparison and in addition is quite racially offensive.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

None | French

Release Date:

1902 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Parteira da Classe Média See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Silent
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