A man stands in front of a backdrop painted with a nature scene. From a fan, he conjures a costume, then a woman appears inside it. An assistant carries in a mannequin; they dress her and ... See full summary »
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 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 »
A wizard sleeps at a table in his well-appointed sitting room. From a drawer in the table, a snake appears. The snake begins a series of transformations: he becomes a jester, a spider, and ... See full summary »
A man stands in front of a backdrop painted with a nature scene. From a fan, he conjures a costume, then a woman appears inside it. An assistant carries in a mannequin; they dress her and she suddenly comes alive. The magic continues: footmen bring in a sedan chair. He covers two seated women with scarves; when he removes the scarves, the women have traded places. The women, the magician, his assistant, and the footmen continue to appear and disappear, changing places and costumes. Then they all disappear, one into another. It's time for a curtain call. Written by
This is a typical example of the filmed stage shows Melies made in abundance. The short film is lively and energetic and the breathless enthusiasm of Melies for his art is evident in every shot, but by 1905, with an increasing number of films telling stories, these kind of filmed magic shows were already beginning to look a little tired and passe. In this one Melies produces clothes and a woman from a glass box. He then dresses a mannequin in more clothes produced from the glass box and transforms it into a living woman. Then, after a couple of men carry a hansom cab onto the stage Melies places one woman in the cab and places a sheet over the other before magically making them swap places. It's all seamlessly done, but it's not magic it's trick photography - which pretty much makes the act redundant when you think about it.
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