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A Dinner Under Difficulties (1899)

Salle à manger fantastique (original title)
Showing the interior of a dining room of a modest cottage, whereto enter a young couple to partake in their meal, which is being served up by the maid. Suddenly the legs of the table are ... See full summary »

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Showing the interior of a dining room of a modest cottage, whereto enter a young couple to partake in their meal, which is being served up by the maid. Suddenly the legs of the table are extended to three times their height; the dinner being elevated to this extent; in order to reach same they climb into the chairs. The table suddenly vanishes, but makes its appearance in another section of the room. It is practically a chase between them and the table, this finally disappearing altogether, and in its place is seen a gigantic bottle of "Scotch." Further surprising tricks are introduced, making this subject one of unusual interest. Written by Selig Catalog

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Short | Fantasy

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January 1903 (USA)  »

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A Dinner Under Difficulties  »

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Indifferent little trick film
7 September 2015 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This rather indifferent little one-minute trick film (or a clone of it) does appear to survive and is more or less a remake of his earlier Repas fantastique(1900) but less interesting. A copy from the Biblioteca Española in Madrid is available on the internet but is incorrectly (and most improbably dated 1905) and attributed to Segundo de Chomón. The film is more or less as described in the Selig catalogue but there are three people dining (not a couple and not young) and no sign of any maid. The star of the show is however the giant bottle of Scotch whose appearance on the scene is unmistakable. It is surprisingly crude for a Méliès film (far cruder than the 1900 version) and may therefore be a poor Spanish copy of the Méliès film (just conceivably by De Chomón but hardly up to his standard either). It is given the title "Table magique" which is conceivable but no Pathé film of this name is known. Pathé did remake Le Repas fantastique as Le Repas impossible in 1901 (definitely not this film) but I can find no sign of any film that might be a remake of this particular film. But even if it is a copy, it certainly cannot be later than about 1901-3.


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