The background of this picture represents a scene along the beautiful river Seine in Paris. A gentleman enters, and taking a blackboard from the side of the picture, he draws on it a sketch... See full summary »
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 »
This shows a prince entering upon the stage of the King's private theatre. He is about to do a few mystifying tricks for the amusement of the court. Taking a large sheet of cardboard, he ... See full summary »
A bat flies into an ancient castle and transforms itself into Mephistopheles himself. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures, one ... 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 ... 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 »
At the royal court, a prince is presenting the princess whom he is pledged to marry, when a witch suddenly appears. Though driven off, the witch soon returns, summons some of her servants, ... See full summary »
In a public place in Constantinople at the corner of a bazaar, the executioner is seated upon a stone and is resting from his daily labors while eating a crust of bread. Suddenly there come... See full summary »
A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »
A traveler puts up at an inn. He hangs his overcoat and hat upon a peg in his room, but he finds, instantly, that his clothes are on his back again. He takes off his coat a second time, but... See full summary »
A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?
The background of this picture represents a scene along the beautiful river Seine in Paris. A gentleman enters, and taking a blackboard from the side of the picture, he draws on it a sketch of a novelist. Then, standing in the centre, he causes the living features of his sketch to appear in the place of his own, which is utterly devoid of whiskers. The change is made so mysteriously that the eye cannot notice it until one sees quite another person in the place of the first. Again another sketch is shown on the board, this one being that of a miser; then an English cockney; a comic character; a French policeman, and last of all, the grinning visage of Mephistopheles. It is almost impossible to give this film a more definite description; suffice it to say that it is something entirely new in motion pictures and is sure to please. Written by
I watched this as one of the shorts on The magic of Melies video cassette released by Kino on Video, 1994. Image quality was good. Music was chipper and matched the lighthearted mood of the film. No color was added. Cropping did not appear to interfere with the film, although it is hard to tell without titles. This should give an idea of the technical quality of the release I watched.
This film was mainly done to show off a particular special effect. A magician draws pictures on a chalkboard, and then his facial hair grows to fit the image he has drawn. This is part magic act, part comic routine. It is amusing, but special effects are so common today that it is not amazing, as it must have been to the people who first viewed it. Basically an image of the magician with one type of hair fades into an image of the same magician in the same position with another type of hair. The quality of this special effect is fairly good, so it didn't seem cheap, just redundant.
My recommendation is to watch it if you are interested in very early film history. It is a good example of a setup that is similar to a booth or simple theater show, but depicts something that could never be shown live. This film predates plots being the norm in movies, and itself has no plot.
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