5.8/10
449
6 user 1 critic

The Mysterious Retort (1906)

Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou La cornue infernale (original title)
| Short, Fantasy, Mystery
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 »

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A wall full of advertising posters comes to life.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two travelers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventually experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to Hell and roasts him... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
The Black Imp (1905)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A traveler at an inn is harassed by a mischievous devil in his room.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An astronomer of age, wealth, and erudition conducts classes in his home. His students are not always respectful, and he suffers their pranks and high jinks. Then, at noon, everything ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Fernande Albany, Jeanne d'Alcy
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A peddler of "the best glue" sets up his outdoor stall. A crowd gathers for a demonstration. As he gives his pitch, two observant cops decide drive off his customers and close him down, ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Fernande Albany, Georges Méliès
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When a drunk traveler stops at an inn, several pranksters decide to rig up a surprise on his bed as a joke.

Director: Georges Méliès
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Georges Méliès
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An inventor dreams that his newly designed airship takes flight.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
The Witch (1906)
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A penniless troubador consults the Fairy Carabosse about his future, but offends her by paying with a bag of sand. He evades the Fairy's revenge, and saves the beautiful princess.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Edit

Storyline

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 a woman. Each approaches the wizard as he sleeps. Each also works its magic on a glass vial on the wizard's table. Soon the vial has grown in size and is full of a bubbling liquid. The wizard wakes, the vial explodes. Who emerges victorious from the spells and dreams? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

snake | laboratory | alchemy | See All (3) »

Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

Also Known As:

The Mysterious Retort  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Mysterious Retort
20 March 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Mysterious Retort, The (1906)

*** (out of 4)

aka L'alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou la cornue infernale

A wizard falls asleep in his lab when a serpent comes out from a cabinet and soon takes shape in a variety of forms including a spider, a joker and a mysterious woman. This here is another one of Melies most popular films and it's easy to see why as we're given all sorts of nice humor, some weird situations and just an overall surreal atmosphere that really makes this stick out among his hundreds of pictures. I'm not sure what it is but I always love when that serpent shows up as I find it to be one of the most interesting figures from this early part of film. It's certainly nothing ground breaking and the effect of it is obvious but it makes for a lot of fun. The spider here and its web is another major plus. Fans of the director will certainly enjoy the humor here and if you're new to Melies then this is a good place to start.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page