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The Messers. Lumière at Cards (1896)

Partie d'écarté (original title)
Two men play cards, as a third watches and a waiter brings drinks. The third man pours drinks as the waiter laughs.



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Credited cast:
Antoine Féraud


Three men sit around a table at a terrace outside a bistro. Two of them are playing cards, while the third calls the waiter by knocking at the table. The waiter arrives, receives the order, and is swiftly back, carrying a tray with a bottle of wine and three glasses. While the third man fills the glasses with wine, the waiter follows the card game with great interest, applauding and laughing loudly. The three men raise their glasses and toast. The two card players put more money on the table and continue their game. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short




Release Date:

23 February 1896 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Messers. Lumière at Cards  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lumière Catalogue no. 73. See more »


Featured in The Magic of Méliès (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting for its tight shot and multiple focal points
27 February 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place – but that's about it.

With this film we have the usual action that is summed up in the title. In essence watching this action is quite dull because there is not a "pay-off" or a reason to watch it but here I actually found myself held by the film. What it was I realised was that the camera had a very small area within its view but it had four characters within this small area. With this small area we have two men playing one another, another pouring drinks and a waiter looking on and laughing. Dramatically it offers nothing but I was surprised by the amount of stuff happening and how many focal points we had. Do I look at the game, the man pouring or try and see what the waiter finds so funny? It was the first time one of these films on the DVD had done this to me and the first one that engaged.

Of course I'm not saying this is an attempt at a Short Cuts multi-layered film but it was nice to find this much movement all working together in such a tight short from Lumière.

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