The Temptation of St. Anthony (1898) Poster

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7/10
Religious FIlms
boblipton13 March 2008
Having invented the trick film and the stag film (with the same year's APRES LE BAL), Melies also pioneered the religious film, with this account of the temptation of St. Anthony, using the same sort of camera tricks he was using for his magic works.

But I wonder: what was the placement order of his catalogue? Did this come immediately after APRES LE BAL?

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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Temptation of Saint Anthony
Michael_Elliott28 March 2008
Temptation of Saint Anthony, The (1898)

*** (out of 4)

aka Tentation de Saint Antoine

A strange religious film from director Melies takes place in what appears to be a cave where St. Anthony is looking at Jesus, attached to the cross, when the devil tries to temp him with various women. It's hard to tell if this was meant to be a serious religious film or just a way for Meiles to bring laughs with his special effects. I'm going to guess that this was meant to be more serious than anything else as it contains lesser special effects than we've seen from the director in previous films. There's one sequence where Anthony goes to pray to Jesus but he turns into a woman as well. The effects aren't anything special but this remains a pretty unique film.
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6/10
Schadenfreude
filmreviews@web.de13 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This was definitely way funnier than I expected and I could very well imagine if important church representatives saw this, they probably weren't too amused although the priest does a pretty good job in resisting the temptations of the flesh for the entire movie. I know I'd have given in probably right at the beginning and things may have gotten quite nasty. The first black-haired woman who appears is truly stunning. Our hero, however, resists and prays hard instead asking god why does he have to tempt him so much while waving his hands excessively. I smiled a lot while watching this short film. It's one of the best Méliès films and comedies from the 19th century in my opinion, possibly because it's so very politically incorrect. The moment the Jesus statue turns into a woman near the end is a great highlight and I didn't really see it coming. Hilarious and very much recommended. You can't spend a good minute much better than by watching this. Unless you give in to the temptation of course.
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6/10
He's a Better Man Than I Am--Oh, Of Course, He Is a Saint
Hitchcoc10 November 2017
Once again a lot of quick changes. As St. Anthony worships a statue of Christ on a cross, he is tested. From somewhere an attractive young woman tries to tempt him. He resists. Then another one comes and they tug and pull at him. But he is resistant to their wiles even though a third one comes along. At one point Christ turns into a woman on the cross. That must have turned a few heads. Anyway, it is a packed single minute of film.
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7/10
Surreal and erotic
MissSimonetta20 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As the bearded hermit St. Anthony prays in a lonely cavern, he is tormented by visions of sexy women who constantly appear via stop trick. The scantily clad nymphs giggle and prance about as they attempt to ensnare him in an embrace or kiss him on the lips, which titillates and terrorizes the pious saint all at once. At the end, he is saved by the heavenly vision of an angel stretched out upon a crucifix... which is also another sexy woman. It is a strange ending indeed and makes me wonder if it means something.

A very weird (and perhaps even Freudian??) short from cinema pioneer George Melies.
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