A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the ... See full summary »
A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »
The three young immigrant boys Wasim, Riaz and Munawar are growing up in the east end of Oslo, Norway. They find school extremely boring and become attracted to the hard boiled gang East ... See full summary »
A winner and sure to please. In front of one of the largest newspaper offices is a hot air shaft through which immense volumes of air are forced by a blower. Ladies in crossing this shaft ... See full summary »
A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon ... See full summary »
My score of 10 is relative to other productions during this very early era in film as well as director Georges Méliès' other films. If you were to compare it to later silent films, then CENDRILLON will come up very, very short due to its very archaic style. And this type of comparison just wouldn't be fair, as non-stationary cameras, composition and detailed scripts were well in the future. But, for 1899, this is amazing because it introduces dissolves to go from one scene to another, a plot telling an actual story, as well as actual sets--things not used much around 1900. Most of the films circa 1900 were dull and short--only a minute or two long and featured people doing horribly mundane things--like feeding a baby or watering the lawn (seriously).
Now this story, while amazing for 1899, is not without many problems. The first portion that set the context for the story seems to either be missing or Méliès just assumed the audience understood it and skipped it. Also, while the first moments of the film are hand-colored, this disappears very quickly--perhaps it comes from piecing two or more copies together to make this film. And additionally, at times the people had no idea what to do, so they did some weird things--like have lots and lots of clocks and elves (why?!?!) as well as a somewhat impromptu dance number at the end. Rough? Yes, but still compared to what else was out there, this was the best sort of film available...period. For film historians, this and the rest of Méliès' films are a must.
By the way, to see just how far films had progressed, try also watching the 1914 version starring Mary Pickford. It stands up much better today and is a truly magnificent film even almost a hundred years later.
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