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Sunday
Dec132009

Looking Forward to 2010 (1910)

The 1910 film Looking Forward, directed by Theodore Marston, imagines a crazy dystopia where women rule the world. Because, as this film accurately predicted, women naturally became a political majority after getting the vote.

The description below of Looking Forward is excerpted from Eric Dewberry's paper, "A Happy Medium: Women's Suffrage Portrayals in Thanhouser Films, 1910-16." [pdf]

The comedy Looking Forward (1910) centers around Jack Goodwin, a chemistry student who discovers a liquid compound which allows people to fall asleep for a determinate period of time without the pitfalls of aging. One day, Jack drinks the potion and wakes up in the year 2010. In addition to the marvels of futuristic “rapid transit facilities,” Jack is shocked to discover that men are in the social and political minority, and do not have the right to vote. In an attempt to “restore order,” Jack becomes a ‘suffragehim’ and is sent to jail for his activities. The female mayor of the city falls in love with Jack and offers to free him from prison if he will marry her. Jack wishes to restore “the rights of men,” however, and refuses to leave prison and accept the proposal unless the mayor signs a decree giving men their liberty. Upon signing, the end of the film shows Jack correcting the bride during the wedding ceremony, leading the Mayor down the aisle instead of vice versa and transferring the veil from his head to her head.

The image above is from the January 30, 1911 Centralia Daily Chronicle (Centralia, WA).

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (4)

Hi there,

Congratulations for your blog. It's really interesting and unique.
I have a question about the film you mention in this post (Looking Forward). Do you know where to find it? I guess the copyright has expired by now so I wonder if it is available in some archive ...

Cheers from Brasil.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSci

regarding LOOKING FORWARD (Thanhouser 1910) - the film is not known to survive, but the complete synopsis of the film is as follows:

SYNOPSIS, The Moving Picture World, December 24, 1910:
"Jack Goodwin is a young student of chemistry who is far advanced for the times. He discovers a compound that has the power to put a man to sleep for any stated period of time, after which he will be as physically fit as ever. Jack tests this marvel for the period of a week, finds that it works, and decides to take a test of 100 years. He hires space in a safety deposit vault, has himself locked in a box and the box sent to the vault. There, according to instructions, it is to remain for 100 years, and at the end of the time to be sent to the mayor of the city.

"There is no hitch in Jack's experiment, and he wakes in 2010 as much surprised at the people as they are of him. He discovers that the rapid transit facilities have been greatly and strangely improved, and that instead of their being any fight for 'women's rights' it is the men who have their troubles. Jack finds a friend in the lady mayor, and she finally wins his hand, but not until she realizes that the man from the century before intends to be master in his own house, although the indications are that he will be a kind, loving and considerate master."

More at www.thanhouser.org

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNed Thanhouser

Good post!The story you have posted is interesting and its somewhat true also.today the whole things change what is there in 1910 and women now no longer is Dependant upon men.Ne ways nice blog.Keep up.


slimming tablets

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterslimming tablets

Misogyny a bit no?

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPoley

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