This is the earliest surviving of Melies super-productions -- the best known one, of course, is his Trip to the Moon -- and the story begins right where Melies can strut his stuff with the appearance of the Fairy Godmother. Some of the earliest sequences are beautifully hand-tinted.
Of greater technical interest is Melies' experimentation with film grammar: he uses a fade to get from Cinderella's garret to the ball. And of course, there are lots of his combinations of stage and film magic, as mice are transformed into footmen, pumpkins appear out of nowhere and the fairy godmother leaves by being lowered into the stage. Tremendous fun and far more watchable than any other version through the 1920s.
This is one of the many previously lost or infrequently seen Melies pictures that have been made available by Serge Bromberg, David Shepherd and a myriad of other hands in the newly issued DVD set GEORGES MELIES: FIRST WIZARD OF CINEMA. Required viewing for anyone interested in the history of movies ..... and a lot of fun.
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