Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (Edwin S. Porter, 1906)

USA, 6 min

An Edisonian tale of warning. Earliest known film dealing with the dangers of cheese dreams!


Produced for the Edison Company. A fine example of the surrealist elements found in the many trick films made in the first decade of the century. A man eats rarebit and then has nightmares in which inanimate objects came to life and his bed flies off with him. The story was borrowed from Winsor McCay.

… what in blazes is rarebit? I was too American to know; it’s yet another Brit-dish, a savory sort of sauce thing made from melted cheese and “various other ingredients” (I think mustard and spices mostly), served on fuggin’ toast. (But is it a far cry from just “cheese on toast”? Why has no one ever made me cheese on toast?) Anyway, here’s a gourmet-looking picture from britishcheese.com, but also take a look at this more questionable at-home shot, the classic paper-plate dining experience… this is the dish’s representative picture on wikipedia, yecch.


One comment

  1. groossss the last picture looks like untoasted bread with velveta and pepper on it. That’s really unappetizing. I’d probably dream of munchkins also if I ate that.

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