6.2/10
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7 user 1 critic

The Cook in Trouble (1904)

Sorcellerie culinaire (original title)
| Short, Comedy, Fantasy
A cook has his hands full with three mischievous devils, who pop in and out of his kitchen.

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Nothing seems to be going right for the busy cook. He has several helpers, but they are mostly talking and laughing and doing little, so, when an old beggar asks for a hand out, the harried cook boots him out. The beggar returns in his true aspect, he's a wizard, and all Hell breaks loose. An imp ruins the soup with too much spice, and the cook blames his helpers. The wizard conjures more imps, and various chases and tricks ensue as the imps pop in and out of the cook's large oven. Havoc reigns. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Comedy | Fantasy

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The Cook in Trouble  »

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1.33 : 1
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Not one of Melies' best
24 July 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

This chaotic little cautionary tale about the dangers of being unkind to beggars (who might just be wizards in disguise, for some reason known only to them) is similar to other films made by Melies from this period. He made a similar film in which demons appear from a wishing well either the same year or the year before (it's title escapes me).

As others have quite rightly commented, this isn't one of Melies' best although it is still enjoyable enough, and much better than most films being produced at the beginning of the 20th Century. What is apparent is that Melies was not yet comfortable with directing the viewer's attention. There's too much going on here at times, meaning the audience isn't really sure where to look. The pace is fast and frantic, but it gets a little repetitive after a while and you're left wondering why Melies felt the relatively slight material was worthy of a whole four minutes.


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