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The Mysterious Retort (1906)
"Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou La cornue infernale" (original title)

 |  Short, Fantasy, Mystery
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

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 »

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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>

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

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Short | Fantasy | Mystery

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The Mysterious Retort  »

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User Reviews

 
All special effects, not much story from Méliès
2 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I love the films of Méliès, as for their day, they were the most clever, creative and had the best trick cinematography of the day. His movies such as Le Voyage Dans le Lune are classics and I try to see every one I can--they are just so amazing and watchable even today (unlike the films of Edison and Lumiere which seem pretty pointless today).

Unfortunately, while this IS a wonderful film, it is NOT among Méliès' best--in fact, oddly, it is almost plot less and is just an excuse to create special effect after special effect. The effects (apart from the cheesy snake) are great and the film is well worth seeing, but it has little lasting value unlike most of his other films I have seen.

If you want to see this film online, go to Google and type in "Méliès" and then click the video button for a long list of his films that are viewable without special software.


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