Attack on a mission in China

Attack on a mission in China is a British film directed by James Williamson , released in 1900 .

In this film, James Williamson uses for the first time in the cinema the field-counter-field language process . James Williamson is part of the Brighton School .

“In 1900 , George Albert Smith was still with James Williamson at the forefront of film art 1


The Boxers , Chinese nationalists, undertook to destroy an English evangelical mission. They kill the pastor who is trying to protect his wife and daughter. The housekeeper gives the alarm by waving a white cloth to a window on the floor. The Blue Jackets arrive, shooting from afar at the insurgents. Then they load, releasing the mother and her daughter, and encircle the survivors of their shots fed.

Technical sheet

  • Orginal Title: Attack on a Chinese Mission
  • French title: Attack of a Chinese mission
  • Director: James Williamson
  • Scenario: James Williamson
  • Production: Williamson’s Kinematograph Company Ltd
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Release year: United Kingdom 1900



The film historian Georges Sadoul , who saw the whole movie in his youth, describes a plan that has since disappeared (the idea of ​​preserving old films dates back to the 1935s, and many films were recycled before this film was taken. conscience), in which we saw an officer on horseback charging towards the mission.

“The handsome horseman burst into the garden just when the Boxers, after setting fire to the house, were dragging the pastor’s daughter. He saved her by hugging her and rushing on the spectators (the camera) 2 . “

The film has had much influence on European and American theaters, and Georges Sadoul added: “This narrative style, typically film, seems to have been unknown in 1900, out of England 1 . ”

“The English film historian John Barnes says there was a tight plan that showed the distress signal of the besieged, the governess waving a large handkerchief. And that there was probably another plan that showed more closely the two women and the child threatened and saved. Which would make a total of at least seven shots shot for the purposes of this movie 3 . ”

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a and b Sadoul 1968 , p.  42
  2. ↑ Sadoul 1968 , p.  41-42
  3. ↑ Marie-France Briselance and Jean-Claude Morin , film grammar , Paris, New World ,, 588 p. ( ISBN  978-2-84736-458-3 ) , p.  81

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