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
The pioneering French filmmaker Geroges Melies is chiefly remembered for his trick photography today but this film is evidence that he was capable of producing films that didn't rely on special effects to create an impact. The one set-one take story sees a bunch of gamblers and prostitutes enjoying themselves in a gambling den. Their hi-jinks are disrupted by a police raid, but the owners of the establishment are prepared for such raids and the casino is instantly transformed into a clothing store, leaving the police non-plussed by what they find.
The film reminded me firstly of a scene from the Rat Pack movie Robin and the Seven Hoods in which a similar gambling den is transformed into a church hall, and also of Mack Sennett's Keystone Kop movies thanks to the later scene where we see a dozen cops wrestling each other in the dark, each of them believing they have hold of one of the gamblers.
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