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The Monster (1903)

Le monstre (original title)
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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The Monster
27 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Monster, The (1903)

*** (out of 4)

aka Monstre, Le

This here seems to be an early take on the Frankenstein story and was made seven years before Edison's official version. An Egyptian prince has recently lost his wife so he brings a man with her coffin to try and bring her from the dead. This is a fun little film that Melies manages to bring a lot of his magic to the screen as well as an overall playful attitude. When they pull the skeleton out of the coffin and start doing their magic, the skeleton begins to dance in a very playful matter before the Prince tries to her one final kiss. The magic tricks are pretty good with the last one being the best where the Prince goes to give his wife a kiss but something goes wrong. The back of the stage is done up in an Egyptian manor and looks quite nice. Fans of the horror genre will certainly want to check this one out since there are various early horror elements. The film includes spoken narration.


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