Selected for the National Film Registry in 2010.
It is, as the title claims it to be, a journey by street car along Market Street in San Francisco photographed over one-hundred years ago. And a fascinating journey it is! Research by David Kiehn of the Silent Film Museum in Niles, California, determined that the Miles Brothers film company shot the film in April 1906, just a week before the catastrophic earthquake and fire. Occasionally attributed to Jack Kuttner, the film was most likely directed by Harry Miles. Thanks to the efforts of Rick Prelinger, there exists a stunning 35mm copy of the film, much superior to the print source here. That stated, this version has its merits. In particular, it features a score by the Beth Custer Ensemble.
Reviews(see the best reviews)
Super cool little short of a view traveling up Market Street and ending at the Ferry Building just before the earthquake. Really cool watching all the traffic chaos with pedestrians, cars, trolleys, and horse and buggies dodging one another.
RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!
A long static shot of a cable car ride down Market Street in San Francisco. It is interesting for the fact that this area was destroyed about a week later.
Matches my morning commute! But that is some seriously wary traffic!
I've seen this several times in the original version without this jazzy score. having music definitely adds something to this fascinating study of San Francisco's main, commercial street. It worked have worked better perhaps with music contemporary to 1906. (the score is, on its own, delightful).
I love this! The score by San Francisco Beth Custer Ensemble is wonderful!!!
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Pedestrians in SF *still* blatantly ignore traffic and will absolutely walk in front of a moving car / horse-buggy / railcar and expect it to stop. Don't miss the epic beard at 8:00
It was a treat to see the buildings and the way people have to dodge all the traffic. It made me laugh to see how drivers would criss-cross all over the road.
I've seen his before and it always makes me stop and watch. I just have to see the whole thing. The film quality is good for the time . The daring nature of the people in the street at this time, is amazing, I love it.
Someone wrote about this is like looking at a time machine. couldn't agree more. too bad you can't really see the faces of the peaple except for the bicycle rider. I wonder if this waa shown after the earthquake to people could see if they could see their loved ones loste in the quake.
Haha...Hank, I know what you mean. I took a cab ride in Naples, Italy back in the early 70's while on liberty. OMG! I didn't think i'd ever see my ship again...there were the three of us sailors in back seat of this small taxi, and this cabbie just flew. Scary. I sat and laughed out loud a few times watching the people dodge the trolley and cars.
If you have any interest in cultural history this will wipe you out. If the city did not have the 1906 quake just 1 week later they would all have died in one massive traffic accident. The only place I've seen scarier driving is in Rome!!!!!
Wondering about the imaginations of the people on screen might be the closest thing we get to a time machine.