Sprinkler watered

The sprinkler watered 1 , initially entitled The Gardener and the little mischievous then Sprinkler and watered , is a film directed by Louis Lumière . It is shown for the first time on September 21, 1895 , in La Ciotat , during a private screening, and then put on the screen paid screenings organized by the Lumière brothers in Paris in the Salon Indian Grand Cafe Boulevard des Capucines, from December 28, 1895 , first historical projection of animated photographic films.


A gardener waters his garden. A child, arriving from behind, puts his foot on the garden hose. The man looks at the beak of the pipe, thinking it is clogged. The mischievous boy withdraws his foot and the gardener is sprinkled. He then runs after the boy, catches him, spanks him and (in the second version of the film) sprinkles him in turn.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: The Gardener and the little mischievous
  • Later title: Sprinkler and watered
  • Title retained by history: Sprinkler watered
  • Director: Louis Lumière
  • Production: Société Lumière
  • Photography: Louis Lumière
  • Country of origin: France
  • Format: 35 mm , with 2 round perforations Light by photogram, black and white, mute
  • Duration: about 49 seconds (17m filmstrip)
  • Release dates:
    •  France :(first private screening in La Ciotat );(first public screening in Paris )


  • François Clerc: the gardener
  • Léon Trotobas 2 , then Benoît Duval: the boy

About the title

The sprinkler watered is a title given to two “comic views” made by Louis Lumière , released in 1895 . The Lumière company names its short film reels, “animated photographic views”, like the fixed glass views that it has been marketing for a long time with success (the English word film will become a must, adapted to the cinema for the first time by Thomas Edison in 1891 , when he developed with his assistant William Kennedy Laurie Dickson the format 35 mm , still in use nowadays, and that Dickson turns the first “Edison films”).

The synopsis is adapted from a humorous page of Hermann Vogel , famous at the time, or other versions before or after 3 .

In fact, none of the two films bore the famous title. The first version is entitled The Gardener and the mischievous and the second version Sprinkler and watered , this one being the only one to be registered in the Light catalog, but it is under the title The sprinkler watered that this work is retained by the history of cinema 4 .

Background and Analysis

True cultural pillars, these films are particularly famous around the world. These are the first animated photographic views to follow a pre-established scenario.

Before Louis Lumière, Émile Reynaud imagined from 1892 more complex scenarios, from 1 to 5 minutes, for his luminous pantomimes projected in his Optical Theater in the basement of the Musée Grévin . Its bands are both the first fiction film and the first cartoons , painted directly onto a film of 70 mm wide made of square gelatin covered with shellac to protect 5 . Reynaud is the first in the history of cinema to use the slapstick , for example in his film Around a cabin (1894 ) 6 .

Around the film

  • The scene is shot in the garden of the property of the Lumière family in La Ciotat , “Les Terres rousses”, which still exists in 1960 . The watered sprinkler is the gardener of the Light, and the chenapan is, in the first version, a young electrician of La Ciotat working on the property of the Light, in the second the son of a worker of their factory.
  • The expression “sprinkler watered” has entered the current language and refers to the one who commits a joke that turns against him.


  • The Sprinkler , directed by Georges Meliès ( 1896 )
  • The sprinkler watered , directed by Alice Guy ( 1897 )
  • We Mock the Gardener ( A Joke on the Gardener ), directed by James Bamforth ( 1900 )

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Entrance ” Sprinkler watered ”  [ archive ] , on Larousse Encyclopedia online , Larousse (accessed July 22, 2016 ) .
  2. ↑ The Cinematograph  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ http://www.topfferiana.fr/2010/10/arroseurs-arroses/  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Michelle Aubert and Jean-Claude Seguin (ed.), The Film Production Lumière brothers , Bifi-editions, movie Memoirs, Paris, 1996 ( ISBN  2-9509048-1-5 )
  5. ↑ Laurent Mannoni and Donata Pesenti Campagnoni, Magic lantern and painted film. 400 years of cinema , Paris, La Martinière / The French Cinematheque, 2009, 333 pages ( ISBN  978-2-7324-3993-8 ) , p.253
  6. ↑ Marie-France Briselance and Jean-Claude Morin , film grammar , Paris, New World ,, 588 p. ( ISBN  978-2-84736-458-3 ) , p.  21-23

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