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The Scheming Gambler's Paradise (1905)

Le tripot clandestin (original title)
| Short
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 »

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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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The Scheming Gambler's Paradise  »

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Funny & Clever
13 June 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This short comedy is pretty clever, and it represents something of a change of pace from Georges Méliès, in terms of its method. Rather than the assortment of camera tricks that you see in most of his features, this one just uses the props very creatively to tell a simple but amusing story. The story and the technique both work well, and the visual effects make it fun to watch.

The story is set in a gambling house whose management expects to endure frequent raids from the police. Their elaborate devices for protecting themselves are very creative, and they work so smoothly that you almost don't notice how detailed everything is. It's well worth watching it a number of times so that you can catch all of the details in the transformation scenes.

The visual effects are the highlight here, rather than the story, but it does have an amusing final sequence that, in addition to comedy, provides a bit of rather tart commentary from Méliès as well.


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