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Le voyage à travers l'impossible (1904) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

  • A bunch of slightly eccentric people decide to travel through the sky and through the sea. Something that is not easy and a little bit more dangerous than expected.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • (Since the film is silent and has no intertitles, the proper names and quotations below are taken from the English-language description of the film published by Méliès in the catalog of the Star Film Company's New York Branch.)

    A geographic society, the Institute of Incoherent Geography, plans to make a world tour in such a way as to "surpass in conception and invention all previous expeditions undertaken by the learned world." At a meeting headed by President Polehunter, "assisted by Secretary Rattlebrain, by the Archivist Mole, by the Vice-president Humbug, the members of the office, Easily-fooled, Daredevil, Schemer, etc., etc.," the members listen to Professor Daredevil's plan for the world tour, but reject it for being out-of-date. The president then welcomes the eccentric engineer Mabouloff (Note: "maboul" is French for "crazy" or "crackpot"), who explains his project for a new "impossible" voyage, using "all the known means locomotionrailroads, automobiles, dirigible balloons, submarine boats" The unusual plan is accepted enthusiastically, and preparations begin.

    When work is complete, the machines and travelers are loaded onto a train, and are sent to the Swiss Alps, where the travelers will begin their journey. They first board an automobile, the Auto-Crazyloff, and journey through the mountains. In an attempt to run over the summit of the Rigi, the travelers crash at the bottom of a precipice. They are saved by mountaineers and rushed to a Swiss hospital.

    After they have recovered, they board a train with their vehicles, and make a second attempt at running over a summit: this time, the Jungfrau. Getting higher and higher every minute, with dirigible balloons attached to the train, they rise into space and are swallowed by the sun. The travelers land with a crash. They are happy to be alive, but the heat is too much. All but one of the travelers are loaded into an ice box, but are suddenly frozen. The remaining traveler, Mabouloff himself, finds a bundle of straw among the debris and starts a fire to melt the ice. The travelers thaw and are happily moved over to the expedition's submarine, which is launched off a cliff on the sun, plummets through space, and falls into an ocean on Earth.

    After a few minutes of underwater travel, a boiler problem causes the submarine to explode. The travelers are thrown up into the air, landing safely at a seaport amid the wreckage of the submarine. They return in triumph to the Institute of Incoherent Geography, where a grand rejoicing is held for them.

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