Two travellers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventuly experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to hell and roasts him ... See full summary »
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 wizard sleeps at a table in his well-appointed sitting room. From a drawer in the table, a snake appears. The snake begins a series of transformations: he becomes a jester, a spider, and ... See full summary »
A combination gambling den and bawdy house is set up so that croupiers, patrons, prostitutes, and the owner can quickly change it all into a mercantile establishment when the cops stage a ... See full summary »
A magnificent Venetian oratory. On the left a large bay window through which may be seen the Grand Canal of the city of Venice. In the centre a colonnade and a hemicycle; to the right is a ... See full summary »
An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the ... See full summary »
A poor but honest young man wins the hand of a beautiful Princess after facing a series of exciting adventures involving apparitions, cartwheeling skeletons, a dragon, and plump dancing ... See full summary »
The setting of this fantastic scene represents the hall of an old chateau in which a miser has locked up seven large bags containing his wealth. Satan, who has made his way into the chateau... See full summary »
An astronomer of age, wealth, and erudition conducts classes in his home. His students are not always respectful, and he suffers their pranks and high jinks. Then, at noon, everything ... See full summary »
Two travellers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventuly experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to hell and roasts him on a spit. Written by
This fantasy/horror feature has plenty of good visual effects, as you would expect from a Georges Méliès movie. It features quite a variety of backgrounds, camera tricks, and other devices from the French movie pioneer's seemingly endless bag of tricks. There isn't really much to the story itself, so it seems clear that the plot was mainly a vehicle to set up the special effects.
The story has the devil choosing to torment a couple of travelers, in a variety of imaginative ways and places. There is quite a bit of action, although most of it simply displays Méliès's camera skill, rather than advancing the story. This may well have been one of the features for which he wrote a narrative designed to be read when the feature was screened, since it isn't always immediately clear what the purpose is for some of the scenes. But in any case, the story logic is not supposed to occupy as much of the viewer's attention as are the interesting visuals.
The themes are similar to those in many earlier Méliès features, and he seemed to enjoy coming up with diabolical sights and bizarre antics. Since there isn't a lot of brand new material here, it probably doesn't rank among his best features, but it's another good demonstration of his creativity and skill.
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