7.3/10
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At 3:25 (1924)

Paris qui dort (original title)
Unrated | | Short, Sci-Fi | 1927 (USA)
A scientist's invisible ray freezes Paris into immobility.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Henri Rollan ... Albert
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Martinelli ... The scientist (as Martinelli)
Louis Pré Fils ... Detective
... The pilot
Madeleine Rodrigue ... Hesta, the airline passenger
... The niece / daughter of the scientist
Antoine Stacquet ... The rich man (as Stacquet)
Marcel Vallée ... International thief
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Storyline

Early roots of sci-fi magic are given to us in the form of a scientist who invents a ray that makes people caught in its beam fall asleep where they stand. With magical and wonderful shots of a Paris long gone, it is the adventure of a group of unaffected who with their sudden freedoms play the game of mice while the cat is away. With a narrative that sways toward a moralistic stance on the principles of fair play and responsibility, this little science fiction fable can still be poignant today as when the magnificent views were first shot from the dizzy heights of the Eiffel Tower. Written by Cinema_Fan

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Genres:

Short | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At 3:25  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This film is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for Sous les toits de Paris (1930). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Experiments
3 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

One has to love these early shorts -- look at the freedom that existed to film more or less whatever subject crossed the artist's mind. And at the self-reference: in the narrative, the characters have the freedom to do more or less whatever crosses their minds. The film itself is the work of a 'mad scientist' about the experiment of the mad scientist within.

The construction is both simple and deeply abstract: we begin with a lone figure against the backdrop of Paris architecture, which grows increasingly populated by statuesque mimes, who are manipulated by animated mimes. The movie ends when the level of abstraction is removed.

Clearly what have here is a work that is conceived from start to finish as a visual story...something so influential that has survived the test of time, in ways that so many other 'experiments' did not. Modern borrowings from this are found in 'Devil's Advocate', 'Dark City', 'Abre Los Ojos/Vanilla Sky'...


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