What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City

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What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City
What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City.png
A screenshot from the film
Directed by George S. Fleming
Edwin S. Porter
Starring A. C. Abadie
Florence Georgie
Cinematography Edwin S. Porter
Release date
  • August 1901 (1901-08)
Running time
77 seconds
Country United States
What Happened on Twenty-third Street, possible source of the phrase 23 skidoo. Circa 1901[citation needed]

What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City is a 1901 American short film depicting a woman walking over a grate, the hot air lifting her skirt.


Comparison with Marilyn Monroe[edit]

On The Library of Congress's webpage, Rosemary Hanes and Brian Taves compared the sequence to the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch, writing "With The Seven Year Itch (1955, FGB 0012-0023), the image of Marilyn Monroe's thighs exposed under her billowing skirt entered American popular culture. The Library's motion picture and broadcasting collections provide the opportunity to document not only how women's roles and their depictions have changed throughout the past hundred years, but also how much has remained the same."[1]

Tom Gunning makes another observation, contrasting the two events as narrative devices writing "The act of display [in What Happened...] is both climax and resolution here and does not lead to a series of incidents or the creation of characters with discernible traits. While the similar lifting of Marilyn Monroe's skirt in The Seven Year Itch also provides a moment of spectacle, it simultaneously creates character traits that explain later narrative actions."[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosemary Hanes with Brian Taves. "Moving Image Section--Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division" The Library of Congress. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  2. ^ Lee Grieveson, Peter Krämer. The silent cinema reader (2004) ISBN 0-415-25283-0, ISBN 0-415-25284-9, Tom Gunning "The Cinema of Attractions" p.46. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  3. ^ Richard Abel. Silent film (1996) ISBN 0-485-30076-1, Tom Gunning '"Now You See It, Now You Don't": The Temporality of the Cinema of Attractions' p.78. Retrieved 5 January 2011.

External links[edit]