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 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 raid. The women become shop girls and customers, the men become clerks and shoppers. The craps table becomes a long counter. The police do raid the joint, and the nearly-instantaneous conversion into a dry goods store covers all the evidence. The police leave in dismay and disgust. But will they be back? What is their real motive? Written by
Watching this film, I was reminded of the classic scene in 'Sgt. Bilko (1996)' when Steve Martin, with a few minor readjustments, instantaneously transforms a gambling house into a busy-looking army motor pool garage. 'The Scheming Gambler's Paradise (1905)' works along the same lines: a busy casino, warned of the arrival of police, neatly folds itself a clothes store. There don't seem to be any in-camera effects here, only clever use of film sets. This absence of cinematic effects is a little disappointing, since that is why one usually watches a Méliès film, but nevertheless this is still a mildly amusing comedic skit. As always, the director can't resist a bit of stage showmanship, occasionally gesturing directly at the camera, as though to say: "watch this!"
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