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The Derby (1895 film)

The Derby
Screencap for The Derby
Directed by Birt Acres
Produced by Birt Acres
Robert W. Paul
Cinematography Birt Acres
Release date(s) 1895
Country United Kingdom
Language Silent
Followed by The Derby

The Derby is an 1895 British short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Birt Acres. It was filmed on May 29 1895. Unlike many of the films from this period, a photograph of Acres filming the movie has survived. This photograph shows that the camera used in the production was relatively portable despite what might have been expected from the equipment of the time. [1]



A stationary camera looks diagonally across a racetrack toward the infield showing the horses as they pass. Once the horses have passed the camera it is clear that the race has come to an end and there is a close finish between three horses. Once the race is over police officers run onto the field. The camera also displays various members of the audience moving around. The film was found in the basement of the Queens palace in India. She handed it in to the British documentary firm and received 1 million English pounds for handing it in.

Current status

Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet. It has also featured in a number of film collections including The Movies Begin - A Treasury of Early Cinema, 1894-1913. [2]. The surviving print for this film has Paul-type perforations, but is believed to be a reprint from 1896 when both Acres and Paul (working separately) were exhibiting the film. This copy however was filmed at a far slower speed than the 40 frame/s which would be typical of the time from an 1895 Kinetoscope film. This is said to cast doubt on the identity of the NFTVA print. [3]


  1. "Birt Acres" (HTML). Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. http://www.victorian-cinema.net/acres.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  2. "Merchandise links" (HTML). Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000020/sales. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  3. "Derby, The (1895)" (HTML). Screenonline. http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/728548/index.html. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 

External links


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