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 ...
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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 ... See full summary »
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 »
A Chinese conjurer stands next to a table, it becomes two tables. A fan becomes a parasol, lanterns appear and disappear. The conjurer spins the open parasol in front of himself, and a dog ... See full summary »
Pluto, having seen the earth, comes back home amazed at the success of that well-known dance, the "cake-walk." He has brought back with him two noted well-known dancers, who start their ... See full summary »
An astronomer of age, wealth, and erudition conducts classes in his home. His students are not always respectful, and he suffers their pranks and high jinks. Then, at noon, everything ... See full summary »
Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring... 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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