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Knife Throwing Family

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Sound | c. 1950s

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  •  Connie Ann and Colleena Sue make their way over to assist their mother, Louella 
  •  Connie Ann steps onto the platform 
  •  Louella begins throwing knives at the platform- which Connie Ann is still standing on 
  •  Connie Ann and Colleena Sue switch places 
  •  Louella throws knives at the platform Colleena Sue now stands on 
  •  Louella nearly hits Colleena Sue 
  •  Quite a family, the Gallaghers. Connie Ann, five years old, and Colleena Sue, two and a half, are a big help to mother, Louella, who is no mean hand with a handful of knives.  
  •  Connie Ann is a veteran at being a target for her mother's cultery, and doesn't turn a hair at ma's cut-ups, even though ma's pretty sharp with the cleevers. 
  •  But Connie's ready for a stand-in, and evidently Colleena Sue has more trust in mother's aim than the audience has.  
  •  It takes a steady eye and a stout heart to heave knives at the apple of your eye, but this female William Tell has no qualms and plenty of faith.  
  •  A near miss! But this miss says it's as good as a smile. Put yourself in her place. Well I just tried, but gosh, I'm too bashful.   
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Considered an ‘impalement art', knife-throwing as performance and entertainment characteristically features human targets. It has enjoyed a long history as part of circuses and side-shows of the 19th and 20th centuries. Not much is known about this film of Louella Gallagher throwing knives at her daughters, Connie Ann and Colleena Sue, as a crowd of children look on, but it represents well the tone of most national newsreel stories about Texas – a little nonsense, a little awe, and more than a little disbelief!