Despite all methods of instantaneously masking a clandestine gambling den's shady activities, the risk of getting caught is high, especially when the police thirsts for success. But, sometimes, indulging in pure fun is just too tempting.
Through a rapid succession of drawings, ingenious disguises and soft dissolves, the director portrays a quick-sketch artist who transforms to various characters according to the static outlines on his chalkboard.
Sound asleep in his comfortable armchair next to a high-pressure retort, a mystic silver-haired alchemist can't even notice the strange manifestations emerging from the vessel's bottom. Is this a dream, or a cornucopia of secreted desires?
An astronomer of age, wealth, and erudition conducts classes in his home. His students are not always respectful, and he suffers their pranks and high jinks. Then, at noon, everything ... See full summary »
Where do all upper-class people and the most respectable and wealthiest members of high society go to blow off some steam? At an illegal and equally exciting clandestine gambling den. However--despite all sophisticated methods of instantaneously masking the shady activities--there's always the risk of getting caught, especially when the local police department is thirsting for a success. But, sometimes, indulging in pure fun is just too tempting.Written by
The pioneering French filmmaker Geroges Melies is chiefly remembered for his trick photography today but this film is evidence that he was capable of producing films that didn't rely on special effects to create an impact. The one set-one take story sees a bunch of gamblers and prostitutes enjoying themselves in a gambling den. Their hi-jinks are disrupted by a police raid, but the owners of the establishment are prepared for such raids and the casino is instantly transformed into a clothing store, leaving the police non-plussed by what they find.
The film reminded me firstly of a scene from the Rat Pack movie Robin and the Seven Hoods in which a similar gambling den is transformed into a church hall, and also of Mack Sennett's Keystone Kop movies thanks to the later scene where we see a dozen cops wrestling each other in the dark, each of them believing they have hold of one of the gamblers.
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