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The Monster (1903)
"Le monstre" (original title)

6.5
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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 »

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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 opportunity of gazing once more upon the features of his wife. The dervish accepts the offer. He brings in from a neighboring tomb the receptacle containing the remains of the princess. He opens it and removes the skeleton, which he places upon the ground close beside him. Then, turning to the moon and raising his arms outstretched toward it, he invokes the moon to give back life to her who is no more. The skeleton begins to move about, becomes animated, and arises. The dervish puts it upon a bench and covers it with a white linen; a masque conceals its ghostly face. At a second invocation the skeleton begins again to move, arises, and performs a weird dance. In performing its contortions it partly disappears in the ground. While performing its feats it increases gradually in size, its neck assuming ... Written by Lubin Catalog

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Short | Fantasy

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15 August 1903 (USA)  »

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The Monster  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Great example of early special effects!
9 August 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The marvelous Melies magically makes a monster move and frolic about, showing us his mastery with a few great special effects from his era. He makes a skeleton appear and gives it life after which it proceeds to get up and run around. The monster then melts until only the head remains before growing to twice the height of Melies the magician. After returning to normal size the neck sprouts from it's body like a flower would the earth, which for 1903 i find to be a spectacular special effect. Melies the great illusionist then amazes us by turning the monster into a beautiful woman and of course adding his signature, by making her disappear! Another wonderful film by early-cinema's most innovative and entertaining performer!


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