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The Famous Box Trick (1898)

Illusions fantasmagoriques (original title)
Opens with a magician compressing something white in his hands. It transforms into a living dove. which is quickly deposited into a box sitting on a table behind the magician. In short ... See full summary »

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Opens with a magician compressing something white in his hands. It transforms into a living dove. which is quickly deposited into a box sitting on a table behind the magician. In short order several other articles are tossed into the box out of which springs a young boy in clown makeup. The magician helps the boy down then places him atop another small box. He then picks up an executioners ax and appears to be going to slice the boy lengthwise. Instead, as the ax touches him the boy turns into twins! The magician then uses his mystical powers to make first one and then the other disappear. To prove they haven't gone into the box, he destroys it then causes the boy to reappear on top of one of the pieces. .Hoisting the child one more time he makes him transform into a French and an American flag which the magician waves triumphantly. But for the big finish he hops onto the table, bows his head and disappears only to reappear through a stage door for one final bow Written by DrRichardh

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Short | Fantasy

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1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantasmagorical Illusions  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Hugo (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stage and Film Magic
13 March 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Melies started out as a stage magician, but he quickly learned and invented a lot of film magic too, which he uses to great and good effect in this effort: the one where he slices the boy in half is wonderful. It's a thirty-second magic act, little more, but must have been a real jaw-dropper when originally shown.

This is one of the many previously lost or infrequently seen Melies pictures that have been made available by Serge Bromberg, David Shepherd and a myriad of other hands in the newly issued DVD set GEORGES MELIES: FIRST WIZARD OF CINEMA. Required viewing for anyone interested in the history of movies ..... and a lot of fun.


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