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The Magician and the Human Pump (1901)

Excelsior! (original title)
The magician appears upon the stage with his assistant. Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, he causes an empty jar to suddenly appear under it. He places the empty jar upon the table and... See full summary »

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Storyline

The magician appears upon the stage with his assistant. Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, he causes an empty jar to suddenly appear under it. He places the empty jar upon the table and seizing his assistant by one arm, begins pumping, when lo! a stream of water emits from the mouth of the assistant and fills the dish. One by one he takes six fishes from the mouth of his assistant and places them in the dish. The assistant is then commanded to hold the jar high above his head, and immediately it begins smoking, and a terrific explosion takes place, which, when the smoke clears away, leaves a flag in its place. The flag is unfolded, when there appears from behind it a huge lobster which suddenly turns into a man. The flag is placed over him, and when it is removed, there are two small children in his place, one seated upon the back of the other. These children are mysteriously turned into different objects until the jar of water finally re-appears with the fish in it. Now the ... Written by Edison Catalog

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Short | Fantasy

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May 1902 (USA)  »

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The Magician and the Human Pump  »

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The opening credits have a typo affecting the title itself: EXCELIOR! instead of EXCELSIOR! See more »

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User Reviews

 
Similar to many of Georges Méliès' films, but still quite entertaining today.
9 July 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film was included in the three DVD set "Saved From the Flames"--a collection of mostly ephemeral movies that have managed to avoid turning to powder, catching fire or melting--something that usually happened with the nitrate film stock used up through the 1950s.

This is a film that was made by Georges Georges Méliès and he stars as the magician--though it might be hard to recognize him in a wig. Like so many of his films, this one is basically a magic routine that was filmed using LOTS of stop-motion. In other words, to make things disappear, the camera was stopped and people or objects were removed--while those remaining in the shots were to stay as still as possible. In it's day, this was hot stuff though today's audiences will be less thrilled by the trick camera work. Excellent for its day, though, as seeing ladies disappear and water come shooting out of the assistant's mouth were pretty slickly done. And, compared to the film maker's other work, this one is about average.


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