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The Cake-Walk Infernal (1903)

Le cake-walk infernal (original title)
Pluto, having seen the earth, comes back home amazed at the success of that well-known dance, the "cake-walk." He has brought back with him two noted well-known dancers, who start their ... See full summary »

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Devil
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Pluto, having seen the earth, comes back home amazed at the success of that well-known dance, the "cake-walk." He has brought back with him two noted well-known dancers, who start their favorite dance amidst the flames. A queer and ugly being wishes also to join in the dance, but his limbs break away and dance far from him. All the subjects of His Majesty are seized with the irresistible mania for dancing, and start an unbridled provincial dance. At this sight Satan starts out of the earth a large blaze, which annihilates everything around him, disappearing himself through the flames. This view has beautiful new effects and much improves with colors. For the first time in a cinematograph view one can see some of the will-o'-the-wisp wandering among human beings. The effect is magical. Written by Méliès Catalog

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13 June 1903 (USA)  »

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The Cake-Walk Infernal  »

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A Melies Musical
20 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

What does a Melies musical look like? Well with painted sets, bursts of smoke, a few trick camera shots and the appearance of demons, unsurprisingly it looks like most his other films, only here the tricks will not impress anyone already familiar with Melies skills, and there is no story, so that what we are left is basically 5 minutes of what is some pretty uninspiring dancing.

I notice a reviewer above me cited this film as a parody of a popular dance at the time. Of course, more than 100 years on, this context is completely lost, and there is not a laugh to be had. Why Melies felt like making a film that danced to the devil is open to interpretation, but there was certainly no enjoyment in it here.


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