5.3/10
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The Mystical Flame (1903)

La flamme merveilleuse (original title)
A juggler enters upon the scene, picks up a skull, throws it into the air, catches it in his hands, where it is transformed into a handkerchief. The handkerchief, after being twirled about ... See full summary »

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A juggler enters upon the scene, picks up a skull, throws it into the air, catches it in his hands, where it is transformed into a handkerchief. The handkerchief, after being twirled about a wand, is changed to a napkin, and afterward to a tablecloth. Out of the table cloth comes a servant. The servant brings a low table upon which the juggler throws some magic powder. The powder takes fire and blazes up into a large flame, in the midst of which appears a beautiful female. The flame dies away, the lady descends to show that she is alive. She mounts the table again. The juggler leaves the room. The servant falls in love with the lady and proposes marriage, but she fades from view. The juggler reenters and head over heals disappears from the top of the chair. The servant rushes toward the chair, juggler reappears coming out from under the table, seizes the servant and, throwing him to the floor, reduces him to smoke. He disposes of the chair in like manner and dances off. Written by Lubin Catalog

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Short | Fantasy

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25 July 1903 (USA)  »

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The Mystical Flame  »

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Nice Trick Film from Melies
25 August 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

La flamme merveilleuse (1903)

*** (out of 4)

aka The Mystical Flame

Familiar film for Melies has him playing a magician who throws a skull into the air and this is where the fun starts. Most people forget that Melies was a magician long before becoming a filmmaker but he certainly reminds you of that in the two-minutes here. If you're familiar with the director and his films then you've probably seen dozens of movies just like this one but no matter how many times you see the tricks you still can't help but be impressed. One of the highlights here is when Melies is swirling around what appears to be a blanket and before you know it a man pops out. This effect was handled extremely well and one can't help but be impressed with how it turned out and the trick isn't as easily spotted as you might expect. The other trick shots include people disappearing on the screen and another nice one towards the end that I won't spoil for first-time viewers.


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