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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Practically the same film as THE CLOWN AND THE ALCHEMIST

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
8 March 2008

In the late 1890s and up to almost WWI, the Frenchman, Georges Méliès, made a huge number of wonderful short films that were significantly better than his competition. Instead of the usual dull 30 seconds to a minute and a half of static filming of mundane subjects (such as the work done by the Lumiere brothers or Edison), his films abounded with great camera trickery and wild stories. This was probably inspired by the fact he was a magician and then a film maker. His work was so popular that soon other film makers copied his films. Some made broad copies in the style of Méliès whereas others copied the films nearly exactly--never crediting the source--though they were invariably inferior films.

This film appears to actually be a case of an idea "borrowed" from Méliès and then re-made almost immediately by Edison in at least two versions--THE CLOWN AND THE ALCHEMIST and HOOLIGAN ASSISTS THE MAGICIAN. Both are very similar with all kinds of stop-motion magic that by today's and even Méliès standards very crudely done. This one is slightly better than THE CLOWN AND THE ALCHEMIST--partly because a film crew member isn't accidentally shown in several shots--as he IS in the other Edison film!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Edison Rips Melies

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
15 December 2010

Hooligan Assists the Magician (1900)

** (out of 4)

There's no question that French master Georges Melies had a large impact on cinema and there's also no question that other companies were ripping him off left and right. Edison made several rips on Melies and this here is one of them. The film features a magician setting up two large barrels and soon he's being tormented by people coming out of them. When he tries to catch one then another will pop out of the other barrel and so on. At just under 90-seconds this film seems very long simply because of how sloppy certain parts are. Melies films still hold up incredibly well today but that can't be said for this thing as all of the edits are very obviously done and it simply doesn't have the charm of a real Melies film. If anything, people should watch this just to see why Melies was so special.

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