6.5/10
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9 user 3 critic

Cinderella (1899)

Cendrillon (original title)
A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?

Director:

Georges Méliès (uncredited)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mlle Barral ... Cinderella
Bleuette Bernon Bleuette Bernon ... The Fairy Godmother
Carmelli Carmelli ... Prince Charming (as Carmely)
Jehanne d'Alcy Jehanne d'Alcy ... Fairy Godmother (as Jeanne d'Alcy)
Dupeyron Dupeyron ... Party Guest (as Depeyrou)
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Storyline

This George Méliès' extraordinary fairy-tale film adaptation of author Charles Perrault's "Cendrillon", is considered to be the first film to use a dissolve transition in-between scenes. With the use of twenty masterly coloured engravings by Gustave Doré to illustrate the storyline's interchanging scenes, the director portrays Cinderella's well-known story, as the Fairy Godmother works her magic, transforming a poor and ragged girl to a fine aristocratic Lady at the King's Ball. In less than seven minutes, everything is here: from the magnificent magical carriage and the jealous sisters, to the noble Prince Charming and the dainty slipper. Of course, here too, time is of the essence. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

25 December 1899 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinderella See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Georges Méliès,Star-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (hand-colored)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1900, a film made by hand colored. See more »

Connections

Version of Cinderella (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing for 1899
1 July 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

My score of 10 is relative to other productions during this very early era in film as well as director Georges Méliès' other films. If you were to compare it to later silent films, then CENDRILLON will come up very, very short due to its very archaic style. And this type of comparison just wouldn't be fair, as non-stationary cameras, composition and detailed scripts were well in the future. But, for 1899, this is amazing because it introduces dissolves to go from one scene to another, a plot telling an actual story, as well as actual sets--things not used much around 1900. Most of the films circa 1900 were dull and short--only a minute or two long and featured people doing horribly mundane things--like feeding a baby or watering the lawn (seriously).

Now this story, while amazing for 1899, is not without many problems. The first portion that set the context for the story seems to either be missing or Méliès just assumed the audience understood it and skipped it. Also, while the first moments of the film are hand-colored, this disappears very quickly--perhaps it comes from piecing two or more copies together to make this film. And additionally, at times the people had no idea what to do, so they did some weird things--like have lots and lots of clocks and elves (why?!?!) as well as a somewhat impromptu dance number at the end. Rough? Yes, but still compared to what else was out there, this was the best sort of film available...period. For film historians, this and the rest of Méliès' films are a must.

By the way, to see just how far films had progressed, try also watching the 1914 version starring Mary Pickford. It stands up much better today and is a truly magnificent film even almost a hundred years later.


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