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The Fat and the Lean Wrestling Match (1901)

Nouvelles luttes extravagantes (original title)
This film is a winner, it being one of the most laughable of mysterious picture ever made. An extremely lean man and an extremely fat man are engaged in a wrestling match. The lean man ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Jeanne d'Alcy
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Storyline

This film is a winner, it being one of the most laughable of mysterious picture ever made. An extremely lean man and an extremely fat man are engaged in a wrestling match. The lean man attacks the fat one viciously but cannot budge him from the floor. After wrestling furiously for awhile, the fat man falls upon the lean one and crushes him as flat as a pancake. The fat man then rolls him up in a package about the size of a carpet bag and lays him on the floor, and winds up by tossing him high in the air. The lean man in coming down falls on the fat man's head, knocking him to the floor and causing hiim to explode in a great cloud of smoke, his body being distributed all over the stage. The portions of the fat man's body then begin slowly to come to life, the fat man jumping to his feet and making a hasty exit, seeming glad to get out of the way of his terrible opponent. Written by Edison Catalog

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Short | Comedy

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December 1901 (USA)  »

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The Fat and the Lean Wrestling Match  »

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User Reviews

Funny & Imaginative
19 September 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This funny and imaginative Georges Méliès comedy plays off of the popularity of fairgrounds-style wrestling, adding some humorous touches and a good assortment of the kind of special camera effects for which Méliès is so well-remembered. As with so many of his features, he manages to squeeze a lot of material out of a simple premise.

As the movie begins, the wrestlers are two women, but they are only the prelude. The 'main event' features two men wrestling, with some moves and mishaps that you could normally only see in a cartoon. It bears watching closely to notice all of the visual effects that Méliès slipped in, because they go past pretty quickly at times.

The camera tricks are quite good for 1900, and show both skill and imagination, in the ideas and in carrying them off. There are only a small handful of times when the illusion does not quite come off, and most of it still holds up pretty well even now.


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