Birthday Cigars (1910)

Film Index, November 5, 1910 synopsis of the Melies film BIRTHDAY CIGARS


"BIRTHDAY CIGARS." - Mrs. Damm and her children are seated on the porch when the postman arrives with a letter stating that their wealthy uncle would visit them. Mrs. Damm hustles the children into the house, and they all get busy tidying things up for the expected guest. The boy feels the importance of the event but his sister is so "lackadaisical" she can't enter into the spirit of the occasion.

Mrs. Damm in addition to numerous other provisions goes to the cigar store and orders a box of "perfectos" sent home. The tobacconist wraps up the bos of "smokes" and lay them beside a box of trick explosive birthday cigars ordered by a previous customer on the respective boxes.

After Mrs. Damm leaves the store a meddlesome chap comes into the cigar store, looks at the cards while the proprietor is busy and gets the addresses on the boxes mixed; the consequence is the birthday explosives are sent to Mrs. Damm and her cigars are sent elsewhere.

The Melies film BIRTHDAY CIGARS (1910)

The anticipated uncle is met, escorted from the train by Mr. Damm and received by the whole Damm family with a hearty welcome. They remove his boots and put a pair of slippers on his feet; take off his coat and insist upon his donning a house coat. He is comfortably seated in a rocking chair, and with much show of hospitality, the box of birthday cigars are brought to Uncle who takes one, lights it and just settles back for an enjoyable smoke - the cigar explodes with a bang.

He is furious and wants to leave the house at once; he can't stand practical jokes. The family assure him it must have been a mistake and they throw the cigars into the fireplace. Zip! Bing!! Bang!!! The whole bunch of "celebrators" go off at once and the concussion knocks the old man out of his chair and upsets the rest of the family.

Too much is plenty - the uncle packs up his things and leaves the place turning a deaf ear to the entreaties of his relatives. He gets away and there is mourning in the Damn home, although the children can't help but laugh; neither can we.

From The Film Index, November 5, 1910, page 15. NOTE: This same synopsis is in The Moving Picture World, November 5, 1910, page 1066.

Film Index, November 5, 1910 ad for the Méliès film A MOUNTAIN WIFE, BIRTHDAY CIGARS and GENEROUS CUSTOMERS


NOV. 3, 1910
A comedy of an explosive box of cigars that makes the audience explode with laughter.

A comedy of surpassing merit.

Approximate Length 970 Feet

Nov. 10, 1910
A Drama of love and life of a mountain wife full of exciting episodes of danger and daring.

Approximate Length 980 Feet

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G. MELIES, 204 East 38th Street, New York City

NOTE: This film was produced in San Antonio, Texas. It was released on a split reel with Generous Customers (1910).

with Francis Ford. Directed by William Haddock (?). Melies / General Film.

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Public Domain Mark
This work (Birthday Cigars (1910), by Méliès Star Films), identified by Bruce Calvert, is free of known copyright restrictions.


The Star Film Ranch: Texas' First Picture Show by Frank Thompson, pp. 137-138.

Last Modified June 24, 2012.