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That Fatal Sneeze (1907)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

At dinner, an uncle plays a trick upon his nephew by pouring excess amounts of pepper on the boy's dinner, causing him to sneeze uncontrollably. That night, the nephew decides to take his revenge by sneaking into his uncle's room and sprinkling pepper on various personal items, including his handkerchief and his hairbrush. The uncle wakes and gets dressed, and the pepper takes effect, causing him to sneeze so violently his room shakes and the bed tips over.

Heading out for the day, followed by his nephew, the uncle passes a shop outside which is a trestle table with a number of china pots on it. One sneeze collapses the table, and the pots smash. The owner and some passers by give chase. Running away, the uncle stands before a shop with a large number of boxes in the window. He sneezes, and the boxes tumble through the window. The owner joins the pursuing crowd.

Rushing up to a policeman, the uncle is about to ask for help when he sneezes again, causing the policeman to fall and knocking over a lamppost, after which he destroys a house, and causes an elderly woman's wig to fly into the air. He evades his pursuers by climbing a ladder and then sneezing, causing the ladder to break, but the sneezes are getting worse. Alone on a street, he sneezes so strongly the world shakes underneath him, until finally, with one final titanic sneeze, the uncle explodes.