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 »
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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