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Forcing the Force [Hoodwinking the Police]

00:00 Introduction by Sheryl Smith, Dryden Theatre Manager, Moving Image Department, George Eastman Museum
03:48 Forcing the Force [Hoodwinking the Police]

Forcing the Force [Hoodwinking the Police] (US 1914)
Director: P. C. Hartigan
Cast: Peggy Hart, P. C. Hartigan
Production company: Hartigan Comedies

Release Date: 17 August 1914
Sound: silent
Color: b/w
Length (in feet): 897 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 14 min.
Frame rate: 18 fps

Generous support for the video introduction provided by Art Bridges

Restored from 28mm to 35mm at Haghefilm
Digitized by Eastman Museum Film Preservation Services
Preserved through the Save America’s Treasures Grant, generously supported by the National Park Service in partnership with the
National Endowment for the Humanities

The piano accompaniment for this George Eastman Museum online presentation was composed and performed by Philip C. Carli

This film has been made accessible to the public in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: NEH CARES. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this video, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities

The European film industry, particularly in France, Italy, and Germany, came to a virtual standstill as World War I raged across the continent. In the neutral United States of America, it was a different matter altogether. The American film industry was now operating on two coasts and film companies grew like dandelions. Hartigan Comedies, under the management of actor/director P. C. (Pat) Hartigan (1881–1951), was one of the smaller ones that blossomed quickly and faded after six one-reel films. Hartigan was already directing short films for Pathé Frères’ American subsidiary after beginning his career in 1911 with the Kalem Company. The six comedies under his own banner and shot in Los Angeles received distribution through Pathé’s affiliate Eclectic Film Company. Three years later, Forcing the Force was retitled Hoodwinking the Police and re-released to the general public through Pathé’s 28mm Pathéscope Catalog. The change in title was a standard practice in those days in order to let the public think they were seeing something new. (It is, however, the bane of film archivists who must live by the rule: things are not necessarily what they are labeled.) Forcing the Force was advertised in the industry magazine Motography on August 22, 1914, with the tag lines, “There is nothing forced about Forcing the Force—it’s up in the Eclectic standard of humor. The only danger is to your patrons’ vest buttons.” The museum’s 28mm print, which was the source of this restoration, lacks intertitles and production credits—a shortcoming that was common in re-releases during this period. This title was one of 54 films restored by George Eastman Museum from its 28mm film collection, all of which are now available on 35mm modern print stock.