5.0/10
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4 user 1 critic

The Clown and the Alchemist (1900)

Although we are led to believe that the ancient alchemists were all powerful, this picture somewhat reverses the order of things. The clown plays some wonderful pranks on the old professor.... See full summary »
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Although we are led to believe that the ancient alchemists were all powerful, this picture somewhat reverses the order of things. The clown plays some wonderful pranks on the old professor. He appears in numerous startling positions, using his club with great effect and always escaping punishment. At last the alchemist brings his magic power into use, and calling two hooded assistants, orders a large cauldron brought in. The climax, by which the clown finally disposes of the alchemist, is startling in the extreme. Written by Edison Films (1901)

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clown | magic | magician | apparition | See All (4) »

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Comedy | Fantasy | Short

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November 1900 (USA)  »

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An ugly Méliès knock-off
21 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

Another reviewer referred to this as being a knock-off of films by the great French director, Méliès. While I would definitely agree, I must also add that this film is a very sloppily made copy--with none of Méliès' sophisticated camera trickery or finesse. Instead, many of the elements are stolen in a very haphazard way (in the turn of the century, film producers like to say they "borrowed heavily from one another"). And unfortunately, they just don't look very convincing as you can see people clumsily moving about behind the fake black wall and the black screen actually moves when these people bump into it!! While copying each other's work was common, such a sloppy attempt as this isn't. My advice is seek out the original films--they are STILL charming and interesting--this one is not.


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