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21 December 1907 (France)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The only technical credits are: La maison morcelée (1908) Produccio: Pathe (1.996) Direccio, argument, foto i trucatges: SEGUNDO DE CHOMON. Procendeccia de la copia: NEDERLANDS FILMMUSEUM, Amsterdam. See more »

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Sorting out the pieces
7 September 2015 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The existence of films with very similar titles and with alternative titles on very similar subjects causes immense confusion, especially with the films by or attributed to Segundo de Chomón.

Ever since Méliès Manoir du diable back in 1896, haunted house films had enjoyed a particular popularity and naturally the films made in the genre all tend to have rather similar titles - the haunted house, the bewitched inn and so on.

The film that has been reviewed here by "Zbigniew" is in fact La Maison ensorcelée - the bewitched house - by Segundo de Chomón, made not in 1908 but in 1907. There are many more reviews of the film under the correct title. That film was a remake commissioned by Pathé of J, Stuart Blackton's extremely successful The Haunted Hotel of 1906, which is the first film to really contain a substantial sequence of figure-animation (the famous dinner that serves itself). De Chomón's version is however a distinct important on Blackton's. There is more of a story to it, the characters are more interesting, it is better photographed and the all-important figure-animation sequence is more extended and far slicker. The film also has quite a spooky surreal finale which is entirely De Chomón.

To confuse matters more, De Chomón had also himself made a much less interesting trick-film called La Maison hantée - the haunted house - just the year before (1906). I do not know whether this film survives or not; I suspect it is lost. There are however quite a number of reviews of that title. Once again the are, one and all, reviews of La Maison ensorcelée of 1907.

As for La Maison morcelée, I rather suspect this does not exist and has never existed but is just the result of someone slightly deaf doing the transcription. One can imagine the scene. Did you say "morcelée"? No, I said "ensorcelée". Oh, good, morcelée it is then....

To dot the i's and cross the t's, there is and has probably never been such a film as La Maison morcelée. La Maison hantée (1906) very probably does not survive. There is therefore just one film in question

  • La Maison ensorcelée (1907).



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