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The Enchanted Well (1903)

Le puits fantastique (original title)
Denied a handout, a witch exacts vengeance by cursing the village well.

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Storyline

Townspeople are seen walking past the village well. A man and a mule [the latter obviously a person in a mule costume] stop nearby as the man prepares to get water. An old crone accosts the man and begs a hand-out, but the man indignantly refuses. As he turns back to deal with his mule, the crone reveals herself a witch and curses the well, then exits, shaking her fist. The man returns and fetches water, but when he pours it from the well bucket into his own bucket, the water turns to flame. Simultaneously, a demon appears over the well, laughing at the man. As the man rushes at the well, the demon disappears, and the well suddenly surges out of the ground into the sky like Jack's beanstalk. Two snakes [hand puppets] spring out of the side of the well and taunt the man, then vanish. Three demons appear, jeer at the man, and disappear. The base of the well opens up and a dragon emerges, roars, grabs the man by the foot, and attempts to pull him in. Then four human-sized frogs crawl out... Written by wmorrow59

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Genres:

Fantasy | Drama | Short

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27 June 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Enchanted Well  »

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User Reviews

Well, well...
13 May 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

This Melies film actually has a story of sorts. A busy man unknowingly makes the wrong decision when he sees off an old crone begging near the village well. The crone is a witch who curses the well, turning it into a portal to the underworld from which various demons emerge. Now these demons, it has to be said, aren't exactly the most frightening movie creations we've ever seen, but Melies was attempting to create a spectacle for all ages and he pretty much succeeded. The set is of school play standards as are the various costumes, but it's all played out with such energy and enthusiasm that you can't help but be drawn in. Worth a look for fans of Melies and early cinema.


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