5.8/10
183
2 user

Extraordinary Illusions (1903)

Illusions funambulesques (original title)
| Short
Pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès performs his cine-magic act.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Firefall (1904)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Alone in his room at an inn, a lustful old man is haunted by spirits.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
The Black Imp (1905)
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    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 | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In this brief "trick film" two clowns assemble an enormous magic lantern which first projects moving images, then emits dancing girls.

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

The leader of a marching band demonstrates an unusual way of writing music.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The scene is similar to that seen at Coney Island, where a number of shows are constantly going on. A Juggler enters, dressed in promenade costume, with an overcoat hanging over his arm, a ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Comedy | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A bearded magician holds up a large playing card and makes it larger. He tears up a card of a queen, burns the torn bits, and a life-size Queen of Hearts card appears; then, it becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
The Monster (1903)
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Fantasy | Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Denied a handout, a witch exacts vengeance by cursing the village well.

Director: Georges Méliès
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

At the royal court, a prince is presenting the princess whom he is pledged to marry, when a witch suddenly appears. Though driven off, the witch soon returns, summons some of her servants, ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Bleuette Bernon, Georges Méliès
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A magician transforms a woman into a portrait of herself, then restores her to life.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A chemist carries out a bizarre experiment with his own head.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Edit

Storyline

As the film begins, Georges Melies himself is sitting on a table before a painted stage backdrop, wearing an Asian outfit, fanning himself. He rises, and in a blink the Asian outfit is replaced by his magician's tux. He makes a stool flip itself in the air, then change into a box labeled [in English] "Magical Box." From it Melies produces a woman's limbs and separate torso, all of which he drapes onto a clothes rack. At his command a woman's head flies out of the box and into his hand; he places it atop the other parts, and instantly it becomes a live woman. They dance together, then he yanks off her clothes in one sweeping gesture to reveal another outfit underneath. He flings a wig and hat onto her, and they dance once more. When the woman turns herself into a male chef in white uniform, complete with hat, Melies is displeased; he strikes the chef who explodes in white feathers. He reconstitutes the feathers into the woman, but as they take a bow together she turns herself back into... Written by wmorrow59

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Also Known As:

Extraordinary Illusions  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Three minutes of pure cine-magic with Georges Méliès
20 April 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

In this very brief film Georges Méliès, one-time stage magician, performs an extraordinary routine with a little help from a 'Magical Box,' a comely assistant, and that genuinely magical box, the motion picture camera. The act is presented as it would be on stage. We first see Méliès, wearing an Asian outfit, as he sits on a table before a curtain. In a wink he has traded his silk garments for a Western suit. Next, he assembles a woman before our eyes out of mannequin parts and brings her to life. In a flash he whips off her clothing -- revealing another outfit underneath -- but seems displeased when she changes into a man. And etc. etc., right up to an amusing final gag. Méliès was said to be an accomplished magician, but most of the tricks he performs here would have been impossible to do without the help of camera tricks and film editing.

Georges Méliès is best known for his famous sci-fi spectacular A Trip to the Moon, and several other elaborate productions along similar lines. Those works are delightful, but I also enjoy these brief, simple entertainments he produced so prolifically in the early days of his career as a filmmaker. These trick films are exhilarating and funny, and they convey great excitement for the new medium.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Extraordinary Illusions (1903) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page