Les Merveilles du Cinémaby marlon-v30 | created - 19 Jun 2012 | updated - 11 Jul 2014 | Public
This is a List of the films referenced in the book Les Merveilles du Cinéma (The Wonders of Cinema) by French journalist Georges Sadoul, published in 1957. I have added a brief comment according to the book, which I hope, will be helpful for those interested in filmmaking.
Sadoul was a member of the surrealist group and later became a communist. He died in 1967. The Prix Georges Sadoul is named after him.
Please, feel free to comment and discuss.
Missing from IMDB:
Dong Cunrui (China, 1955) Si Pincang (Indonesia, 1952)
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1. La fièvre monte à El Pao (1959)
97 min | Drama
Aroused citizens assassinate an unpopular Caribbean despot, then two men vie for his gorgeous widow Ines. Ojeda is a steamy, isolated island, the penal colony for an oppressive dictatorship... See full summary »
Last film made by actor Gérard Philipe, to whom the book is dedicated. Directed by his friend and fellow surrealist Luis Buñuel.
2. Bold Adventure (1956)
102 min | Adventure, Comedy
The book is largely based around the making of this film. Thus is used to explain basic notions of lightening, set design, shooting, cutting, edition, costume design, make up, etc.
3. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
Passed | 150 min | Drama, Romance, War
An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.
Votes: 2,739 | Gross: $9.20M
As a reference to director Rex Ingram, founder of Victorine Studios.
4. The Rules of the Game (1939)
Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama
A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.
One of the films whose production he witnessed.
5. Le silence est d'or (1947)
100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
1910 : A friend leaves his daughter, Madeleine, with Emile a French film producer. Emile falls in love with her. Problems starts when his young friend Jacques returns from military service ... See full summary »
One of the films whose production he witnessed.
6. Zhukovsky (1950)
One of the films whose production he witnessed.
7. A Man Escaped (1956)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Thriller, War
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison.
One of the films whose production he witnessed.
8. L'affaire Dreyfus (1899)
13 min | Short, Biography, Drama
Dramatized re-enactments of the events of the Dreyfus-affair from 1894 to 1899.
Example of early films, whose production values were more similar to those of theatre.
9. L'Atalante (1934)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.
It points a continuity error due to Jean Vigo's lack of economic resources. He (apparently) could not afford a script supervisor (or "script girl") and he wasn't able to re-shoot the scene.
10. Tables Turned on the Gardener (1895)
1 min | Comedy, Short
A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »
Noted as one of the first narrative films, it points the importance of props (the hose) and sets (the garden).
11. Cabiria (1914)
Not Rated | 148 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »
Early use of tridimensional (not painting) sets. To enhance the feeling of depth, Pastrone introduced the travelling shot.
12. La Strada (1954)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.
In the spirit of realism; actress Giuletta Massina and her husband, director Federico Fellini acquired used clothes at the flea market in Porta Portese.
13. Bitter Rice (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Two criminals on the run end up working in a rice field and decide to recruit other workers for their next robbery.
Reference to symbolism in the dress worn by Silvana Mangano.
14. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 29,177 | Gross: $0.17M
Film shoted by cinematographer Christian Matras. He also shot "Les aventures de Till".
15. Fan-Fan the Tulip (1952)
Not Rated | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Swashbuckling adventures of young army recruit Fanfan la Tulipe during the reign of King Louis XV in 18th century France.
Same as above.
16. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
PG | 104 min | Drama, History
The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.
Jean Delannoy recreated the famous cathedral's porch in the studio to avoid lightening difficulties (this is obvious nowadays).
Book Ilustration: A production shot showing the visual effect of a 6m cathedral behind some 4m houses giving the impression of a real 70m cathedral.
17. Notorious (1946)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Votes: 79,940 | Gross: $10.46M
Description of a complex crane shot. Panning the camera in a long shot, then descending to an extreme close up.
18. Sous les toits de Paris (1930)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
Albert is smitten for Pola but ends up wrongly committed in jail, in the meantime her affections are sort after by his friend, and on his release both love and friendship must be tested.
Example of sound production. In the film's first scene, the camera slowly approaches a group of street singers. As we get near them, the sound gradually increases.
19. La Chartreuse de Parme (1948)
170 min | Drama, Romance
Fabrice del Dongo, a young archbishop, gives his all to romance rather than to the Church, creating complications for everyone around. The Countess of San Severina, is but one of the women ... See full summary »
An instance of star value. According to Sadoul, people often referred to this film as a "Gérard Philipe movie" rather than a "Christian-Jaque movie" or a "Stendhal film"
20. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.
A comparisson betwen the audience and Danny Kaye's character, who likes to imagine he is a Hollywood hero.
21. It Happened One Night (1934)
Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
Another instance of star value. This time is the famous urban legend about the sales of undershirts declining, because of Clark Gable not wearing any.
22. La dame aux camélias (1912)
Marguerite is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by ... See full summary »
Actress Sarah Bernhardt, was a stage performer. When she repeated the same gestures and acting style in film, she looked (in Sadoul words) ridiculous.
23. The Wages of Fear (1953)
Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.
Actor Yves Montand, before being a screen actor was a jazz singer. He was successful in getting rid of the singer persona and acquiring on-screen presence.
24. Desperate Decision (1952)
84 min | Drama
1922:Irish Revolution.Catherine, a servant in a convent ,goes to Dublin to meet up with her young brother in danger.
Book illustration. A comparison between a sketch and the finished set.
25. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
Not Rated | 116 min | Biography, Drama
The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.
Outstanding use of makeup (grimage) on actor Paul Muni.
26. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)
Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.
Outstanding use of makeup (grimage) on actor Nikolai Cherkasov.
27. Ivan Pavlov (1949)
93 min | Biography, Drama
Outstanding use of makeup (grimage) on actor Aleksandr Borisov, who interpreted the main character trough his teens to old age.
28. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.
Votes: 20,794 | Gross: $0.30M
An impressive achievement in makeup by Hagop Arakelian and ill-fated painter, Christian Bérard.
29. Les gens du voyage (1938)
108 min | Drama
Due to an accident at the Barlay Circus, animal trainer Flora finds Fernand, a former prison escapee, and refers him to manager, Edouard Barlay.
To play the part of a lion tamer, actress Françoise Rosay frequented real female lion tamers.
30. Chapaev (1934)
93 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
This film is based on the book about Vasili Ivanovich Chapaev (1887 - 1919) who was in real life the Commander of the 25th Division of the Red Army. Chapaev is an uneducated peasant and a ... See full summary »
As part of the Stanislavski's system, Boris Babochkin frequented soldiers who served under the orders of the real-life Vasily Chapayev.
31. Yunost Maksima (1935)
92 min | Drama, History, War
A 1935 USA trade-paper reviewer called it... "an impressive and technically outstanding historical drama dealing with czarist terrorism and revolutionary boiling in the days of 1907. ... See full summary »
First film of a trilogy featuring Boris Chirkov as working-class hero, Maksim. In preparation, Chrirkov lived for weeks as a common worker, interviewing people who lived in the film's period.
32. A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923)
TV-PG | 82 min | Drama, Romance
A kept woman runs into her former fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.
Votes: 3,899 | Gross: $0.39M
Director Charles Chaplin helped his actors to get into character by building detailed, four-walls sets. Also, in the feast scene, he served real champagne instead of colored soda, as was the custom.
33. Greed (1924)
Not Rated | 140 min | Drama, Thriller, Western
The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.
Votes: 7,668 | Gross: $0.16M
In the same line, Erich von Stroheim filmed in an abandoned house, with roofed sets of real dimensions.
34. La Terra Trema (1948)
160 min | Drama
In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently.
Neorealist director Luchino Visconti shot this film in a sicilian fisherman's house with nonprofessional actors.
35. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.
Votes: 109,813 | Gross: $0.33M
A famous anecdote. The protagonist, Lamberto Maggiorani was a worker without acting experience. Shortly after being back at work, the factory closed, forcing him to full-time acting.
36. Port of Shadows (1938)
Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city.
Votes: 6,808 | Gross: $0.03M
In one scene, Jean Gabin must give a slap to Pierre Brasseur. For better results, director Marcel Carné asks Gabin to "take it easy" during rehearsals, but on the first take, "hit really hard". Brasseur was taken by surprise giving a great performance.
37. Peter the First (1937)
96 min | Biography, Drama, War
After eight takes of a fist fight scene, the actors are wornout, however Vladimir Petrov asks for a ninth take which leaves Nikolai Cherkasov with a broken tooth. The take that made it into the final cut was the sixth. This example and the one before, are instances of risk scenes filmed without stunt doubles.
38. Marty (1955)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.
Example of a film with a relative low budget ($350,000 says the book), that turn out to be highly successful due to argument and performances.
39. Gone with the Wind (1939)
G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 240,462 | Gross: $198.68M
Example of a best-seller made into a high-grossing movie.
40. The Iron Curtain (1948)
Approved | 87 min | Biography, Crime, History
The story of Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa,Canada in 1943 and defected in 1945 to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada.
Sadoul deemed this movie as the "first anti-communist film", very controversial with no artistic values or commercial success.
41. The Seven Deadly Sins (1952)
127 min | Drama
A French/Italian co-production with two episodes from Italy and five from France covering the seven deadly sins---actually eight as two of the sins are covered in one episode while a new "... See full summary »
Directors: Yves Allégret, Claude Autant-Lara, Eduardo De Filippo, Jean Dréville, Georges Lacombe, Carlo Rim, Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Michèle Morgan, Françoise Rosay, Jean Debucourt, Marcelle Praince
Due to a little anti-capitalist piece of dialogue, the financing banks threaten to retire their investment if the dialogue is not retired. An example of censorship at a time when the french films had to undergo an official censure.
42. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 44,563 | Gross: $0.05M
After the Russian revolution, the film industry was nationalized, unfortunely many filmakers and actors emigrated abroad, so the restoration was slow. In 1919 they founded th first film school (today Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography).
43. Mother (1926)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
The Film Version Of Gorki's Great Story Of The 1905 Revolution
This and the one before are examples of the socialist films boom around 1925.
44. Ostatni etap (1948)
110 min | Drama
Female prisoners of various ethnic background struggle to survive the hardships of Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
From Poland, BAFTA Award.
The following films were produced by (at the time) socialist countries. They achieved critical acclaim, thanks to film festivals.
45. Five from Barska Street (1954)
108 min | Drama
In war-ravaged Warsaw, five juvenile delinquents are given probation for stealing, to rehabilitate themselves, but remain under the influence of their profiteer-boss.
Poland, International Prize at Cannes
46. Trevoga (1951)
115 min | Drama
The action takes place in the last years of the Second World War, immediately before the socialist revolution in Bulgaria. It centers on the life of the middle-class family of Lazarov, ... See full summary »
47. Heroes of Shipka (1955)
90 min | Drama, History, War
Epic historical drama. The Russo - Turkish War of Liberation of 1878 and the role of the Bulgarian Volunteer Gorps.
Bulgaria/URSS. Best Director at Cannes.
48. It Happened in Europe (1948)
100 min | Drama
A band of runaways and orphans of the war scour the countryside in search of food and shelter. They invade and then taken in by a musician and former concert pianist who's hiding out in a ... See full summary »
49. Treasured Earth (1948)
97 min | Drama
A young peasant girl wants to marry her love, but due to the pressure of her parents she ends up with a wealthier man. Their real hardships begin when they escape together from her wedding.
50. Merry-Go-Round (1956)
90 min | Romance, Drama
In a rural scenery in the throes of difficult changes lives a humble but promising young farmer girl called Mari Pataki. Her father forbids her from seeing the man she loves. The father, ... See full summary »
51. Mitrea Cocor (1953)
52. Ne okreci se sine (1956)
111 min | Drama, War
A partisan comes secretly to town to find about what happened to his little son who barely remembers him. He is horrified when he finds out that his son is raised in a colaborators' ... See full summary »
53. Skanderbeg (1954)
95 min | Action, Drama, History
This is the true story of the National Hero of Albanians, George Kastrioti Scanderbeg, from his birth to his death. 1405-1468. Based mainly upon the monk writer Marin Barleti, the movie ... See full summary »
Albania/URSS. International Prize at Cannes.
54. Murderers Among Us (1946)
85 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
After returning from a concentration camp, Susanne finds an ex-soldier living in her apartment. Together the two try to move past their experiences during WWII.
55. Ernst Thälmann - Sohn seiner Klasse (1954)
124 min | Biography, Drama, War
This historical-biographical film begins in the first days of November 1918 on the western front. News comes to the soldiers of a revolutionary uprising in Kiel. Young Thälmann, a soldier ... See full summary »
56. Stärker als die Nacht (1954)
117 min | Drama
The story of a resistance fighter in the Nazi era: Communist Hans Löning was arrested in 1933, imprisoned in the concentration camp and tortured. The Gestapo plans to smash the resistance group around Löning so they make him disappear.
57. Siréna (1947)
77 min | Drama
Czechoslovakia. Golden Lion at Venice Festival.
58. Three Forbidden Stories (1952)
105 min | Drama
This film and the next, are based on the same real life accident. 200 applicants were waiting to be interviewed for a position as secretary. The weight made the stairs collapse. Genina's Version of the story "imagines" the reasons for the women to be there. Childhood trauma, an unhappy marriage and drug addiction. The film's depiction of the situation seems to go for the shock value rather than the social critique.
59. Rome 11:00 (1952)
107 min | Drama
Based on an actual incident, this is the story of five girls (told in a slow beginning) who are among the 200 women who answer a want ad for a modest secretarial position one rainy morning ... See full summary »
Screenwriter Cesare Zavattini set an ad in the newspapers similar to the one that caused the accident. Sixty ladies attended, and Elio Petri asked their reasons for looking a job. He also inquired among the real affected women. They hired two secretaries to work at the production. As a result, this version is a realistic portrayal of unemployment in Italy among different social classes.
Tre storie is considered a forgotten banal, commercial film; while Roma ore 11 marks a notable period in italian cinema. This is an example of film development based on the same idea with very different results.
60. If All the Guys in the World... (1956)
95 min | Adventure, Drama
While fishing in the North Sea, eleven out of the twelve men of the Lutèce, a fishing-boat from Concarneau, get intoxicated after having eaten rotten ham. The only one unscathed is Mohammed... See full summary »
A description of the film's development that began with two news articles about the collaboration between radio amateurs to help an ill man obtain a rare medication, and to help the Pakistan minister to contact his doctor in London. The original plot by Jacques Rémy involved a help call from a French boat. The SOS was retransmitted trough an african colony to Israel to Paris, that got in touch with West Germany, to send help to the boat, there was a collaboration between American and Soviet authorities.
61. Les maudits (1947)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama
Oslo, April 19th 1945, as the Third Reich is living its last days, a group of Nazis and sympathizers (a Wehrmacht general; an SS commander and his "assistant"; an Italian industrialist and ... See full summary »
The adaptation was made by Jacques Rémy. (see above)
62. Manon (1949)
100 min | Drama, Crime
An adaptation of Abbe Prevost's classic French novel 'Manon Lescaut', updated to post-World War II France, in which a former French Resistance activist rescues Manon from villagers who want... See full summary »
Director Henri-Georges Clouzot, began working in this film only after having a precise vision of the scene in which the main character desperately looks for his wife trough a crowded train.
Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.
Votes: 11,833 | Gross: $2.18M
D.W. Griffith makes an extensive use of (pretty much) all the editing techniques. Particularly, parallel action.
64. The Arrival of a Train (1896)
Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short
A train arrives at La Ciotat station.
Sadoul explains that in this short film we can appreciate a "long shot" (The landscape before the arrival), a "full shot" or "medium long shot" (Passangers descending from the train), an "american shot" (A lady that walks by the camera) and a "close-up" (A man who gets too near the operator). All this without any use of editing.
65. The Last Laugh (1924)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama
An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.
Votes: 10,173 | Gross: $0.09M
German expresionist F.W. Murnau, makes an extensive use of "tracking shots". This contrasts with contemporaries Eisenstein and Pudovkin, and their theory of editing, where the characters were always at the same distance of the camera on each angle.
66. Rope (1948)
PG | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.
Famously, Alfred Hitchcock composed this film of only 9 takes (actually 10). Leaving in second term editing techniques without losing any "artistic quality".
67. Pastoral Symphony (1946)
Approved | 110 min | Drama
A minister falls in love with a blind young woman he sheltered, but so does his son.
Example of the use of inserts. When the film's edition was almost complete, Jean Delannoy, introduced a close-up shot of Michèle Morgan on a death-like position, laid over fake snow.This little shot, unplanned and with minimal resources, helped to give strenght to the scene.
68. Louisiana Story (1948)
Approved | 78 min | Adventure, Drama
The idyllic life of a young Cajun boy and his pet raccoon is disrupted when the tranquility of the bayou is broken by an oil well drilling near his home.
Book illustrations: Two still frames showing a "long shot" and an "american shot."
69. The Young and the Damned (1950)
Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama
A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others...
Book Illustration: Still frame of a "medium shot".
70. The Quiet One (1948)
65 min | Documentary, Drama
A documentary account of the rehabilitation at the Wiltwyck School of an emotionally disturbed Black boy who is unwanted, misunderstood, and inwardly tortured.
Book Illustration: Still frame of a "medium close-up".
71. Black Shadows (1949)
63 min | Documentary
Book illustration: Still frame of a "close-up".
72. Buffalo Bill (1944)
Approved | 90 min | Biography, Romance, Western
The story of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, legendary westerner, from his days as an army scout to his later activities as owner of a Wild West show.
An example of "post-synchronization". In one scene, a character says that, after the battle, only 8 men survived. However, when the battle scene was filmed, the script was changed, so now 18 men survived. Instead of re-shooting the first scene, a sound technician must do a lip sync with the correct dialogue.
73. The Crusades (1935)
Not Rated | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, History
King Richard and the Third Crusade (1190-1192) are given the DeMille treatment with more spectacle than history.
Film editor Anne Bauchens uses this film to explain her labour. When the main action scene was filmed, only the dialogue and minor sound effects were recorded. Bauchens had to add the sounds of: firing cannons, cannonballs hitting its target, crackings from the war machines, screaming, neighing, boiling oil, whistling arrows, trampling, etc. Impressively (for that time), eight tracks were needed.
74. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
PG | 108 min | Thriller
A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.
Part of Dimitri Tiomkin's filmography. "One of the giants of Hollywood movie music."
75. High Noon (1952)
PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A town marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
Votes: 85,555 | Gross: $9.45M
Same as bove.
76. La roue (1923)
273 min | Drama
Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Composer Arthur Honegger, developed the theme of his famous composition, "Pacific 231"; out of the music he composed for this Abel Gance's film.
77. Alexander Nevsky (1938)
Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, Drama
The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.
Composer Sergei Prokofiev created the score for this film by Sergei Eisenstein. He later rearranged the music to create his famous "Cantata for Alexander Nevsky".
78. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.
An important moment in film history. The movies didn't have to represent reality anymore. In this instance, a film "shot" on the moon.
79. Cinderella (1899)
6 min | Short, Drama, Fantasy
A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?
Example of a "stop trick". To turn a pumpkin into a carriage, Georges Méliès stoped the camera and replaced the props, while the actors retained their positions.
80. Baths at Milan, Italy (1896)
1 min | Documentary, Short
A large pool in Milan has diving boards set at different heights. As some people watch from along the pool's edge, others enjoy themselves by diving into the pool, using a variety of different styles.
Director: Louis Lumière
According to Sadoul, during a screening, operator Alexandre Promio set the film backwards on the reel. He was amused to see the swimmers coming out of the water, feet-first.
81. The Blood of a Poet (1932)
Unrated | 55 min
A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »
Jean Cocteau used several "tricks" on this film. In a sequence, the main character walks awkwardly trough a corridor after having "falling" into a mirror. Actually, the actor was rolling over a horizontal set, with the camera filming from "above".
82. The One-Man Band (1900)
2 min | Short, Comedy
A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.
An example of multiple exposure. By covering certain parts of the lens, Méliès can avoid exposition on the film, and can "reuse" this film to shot again. In this way, an actor can appear several times in the same place at the same time.
83. The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954)
104 min | Comedy
With the technique described above, comedian Fernandel can play a father and his five sons.
84. Gulliver's Travels (1902)
4 min | Short, Fantasy
Of all the beautiful stories ever told none are more interesting than Gulliver's Travels. How Gulliver set out on a journey and was shipwrecked on an island, where he found strange people, ... See full summary »
Another example of the same technique, this time however, Méliès uses proportions to create "giants" and lilliputians.
85. Dr. Cyclops (1940)
Not Rated | 77 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
A mad scientist working in the South American jungle miniaturizes his colleagues when he feels his megalomania is threatened.
Another use of proportions. A mad scientist that miniaturize a group of scientists.
86. L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc (1901)
3 min | Short, Comedy
A chemist carries out a bizarre experiment with his own head.
In this film, a man inflates a human head, making it grow on size. To achieve this effect, Méliès combines the multiple exposure technique with a tracking shot . He films the head and gets closer to it, making it look bigger.
87. The Ten Commandments (1956)
G | 220 min | Adventure, Drama
The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.
Votes: 52,809 | Gross: $93.74M
With a creative use of multiple exposure and other techniques, including reverse motion, Cecil B. DeMille show us the sequence when Moses parts the Red Sea.
88. Out of the Inkwell (1918)
2 min | Animation, Comedy, Short
Director: Dave Fleischer
With a very elaborate combination of rotoscoping (his own invention), pixilation and multiple exposure, Max Fleischer created the adventures of Koko the clown in the series Out of the Inkwell. A combination of animation and Live action.
89. The Invisible Man (1933)
Not Rated | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.
Another elaborate example of multiple exposure and travelling matte by John Fulton. To create the scene when the invisible man removes his clothes, an actor was filmed fully covered by a black suit against a black background. Thus, creating a "template" were only the clothes were visible.
90. The Three Caballeros (1944)
Approved | 71 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
Donald receives his birthday gifts, which include traditional gifts and information about Brazil (hosted by Zé Carioca) and Mexico (by Panchito, a Mexican Charro Rooster).
To create this live-action/animation film, the Fleischer's techniques were used, but in color.
91. Sadko (1953)
79 min | Adventure, Fantasy
Arriving home to find his native land under the yoke of corrupt merchants, an adventurer named Sadko sets sail in search of a mythical bird of happiness.
Another use of double multiple exposure to, among other things, create fantastic creatures.
92. Boris Godunov (1954)
110 min | Drama, Music
Action happens at the end of the 16th century, on the eve of "time of troubles". The main character of this historical tragedy - the Russian tsar Boris Godunov who has ascended to a throne ... See full summary »
Yet another example of outstanding multiple exposure and matte. This film and the one before, were adaptation of traditional operas from communist countries.
93. The Haunted Hotel (1907)
5 min | Short, Comedy, Fantasy
A traveler stays the night at a rural inn, but gets no rest as he is tormented by various spectres and mysterious happenings. The food on the table prepares itself, his clothes leave the ... See full summary »
An early example of a technique then known as "american movement"; nowadays named "stop motion". This "frame by frame" technique, continued to be developed by directors such as Winsor McCay, Segundo de Chomón, Wladyslaw Starewicz and Émile Cohl.
94. Pauvre Pierrot (1892)
4 min | Animation, Comedy, Short
One night, Arlequin come to see his lover Colombine. But then Pierrot knocks at the door and Colombine and Arlequin hide. Pierrot starts singing but Arlequin scares him and the poor man goes away.
Director: Émile Reynaud
The first projected animated cartoons were made by Charles-Émile Reynaud, who painted directly over celluloid film. He used perforations to allow the film to move.
95. King Kong (1933)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
Votes: 69,713 | Gross: $10.00M
An example of "rear projection". The actors and some props (in this case, models of Kong and the Empire State) are filmed in front of a screen were a movie is projected (New York's landscape).
96. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Votes: 21,385 | Gross: $0.01M
In the aquarium scene, Orson Welles used the rear projection effect with enlarged shots of aquatic animals to give an unsettling atmosphere.
97. Monte Cristo (1929)
223 min | Adventure
After greedy men have Edmound Dantes unjustly imprisoned for 20 years for innocently delivering a letter entrusted to him, he escapes to get his revenge on them
The Schüfftan process. To create the illusion of an actor on a huge set; only a portion is built real size. A miniature version (or a drawing) of the set is also crafted. The two are filmed as one single shot, trough the use of mirrors and a correct camera angle.
98. Children of Paradise (1945)
Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance
The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.
Example of the Schüfftan process, an open sky is placed on a theatre stage.
99. Shadow of the Guillotine (1956)
120 min | Drama, History
The Tuileries Palace (destroyed in 1871), was recreated thanks to the Schüfftan process.