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The Living Playing Cards (1904)

Les cartes vivantes (original title)
| Comedy, Short, Fantasy
A bearded magician holds up a large playing card and makes it larger. He tears up a card of a queen, burns the torn bits, and a life-size Queen of Hearts card appears; then, it becomes ... See full summary »

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A bearded magician holds up a large playing card and makes it larger. He tears up a card of a queen, burns the torn bits, and a life-size Queen of Hearts card appears; then, it becomes alive. The magician puts her back into the card. The same thing happens with the King of Clubs: the card becomes alive. The king removes his costume, and there's something very familiar about him. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Short | Fantasy

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The Living Playing Cards  »

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THIS is what the movies are all about!
11 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Living Playing Cards" (_Les Cartes vivantes_) is what cinema is all about -- *magic!* Méliès himself plays The Magician, and he is truly amazing as he performs card tricks on stage, acting well as he asks the audience if a card he has drawn is "our" card, then reacts with disappointment as he realizes it is not, but then recovering with aplomb as he attempts to make up for his error by outdoing himself with each new card trick, culminating in his not just making a life-sized card come to life, but finally ... well, that would be telling!

Méliès once wrote that a film director must be prepared to work not only as the director, but as the writer, the camera operator, and an actor as well, if necessary. He was all of those things and did them all extremely well. Now if only I could figure out how he pulled off that last card trick....


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