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Bewitched Matches (1913)

A witch, upset with a man who yelled at her, places a curse on his box of matches that turns him into a skeleton.


Émile Cohl


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There is a little plot to this subject, and the beginning shows how the old fortune-teller took her revenge on the old German, who refused to allow his daughters to have their fortunes told, by bewitching the matches, with which he tries to light his pipe. And then the matches do some unusual things. The matches, when they start their antics, do some very amusing and seemingly quite human tricks. One of them even walks a tight rope and stands on his head on it. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

witch | skeleton | magic spell | See All (3) »







Release Date:

4 May 1913 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eclair American See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released as a split reel along with the documentary Salamanders (1912). See more »

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User Reviews

Creative mix of live action & animation by true pioneer!
22 April 2006 | by GblakeliiSee all my reviews

Whereas animation purists may be a little disappointed that this film includes whole live action sequences, horror fans may want to add this to their viewing list. The movie opens with three young women in the midst of frivolity. It would appear that they sent for a witch, as when she comes into the room they show no surprise. She is a very traditional looking witch. Before long, they plead with her to read their palms. All is fun and games with them, none of this is taken very seriously. Then in walks the uncle! He is outraged upon seeing the witch and orders her out at once. She is very upset at this rebuke, and hence puts a curse on his box of matches, then departs. The old man is visibly disturbed from the encounter. The nieces then leave the room as well. The enchantment very quickly begins, with the screen filling up with the magic matches. Some of the stop motion effects created include: a horse; spinning windmill; U.S. flag; then some standard animation of a pipe smoker with real smoke shown. Stop motion returns with a stick figure on a tight rope, and the grand finale of a skeleton which may have given Walt Disney some ideas for "A Skeleton Dance" more then 15 years later. Switching back to live action, what takes place with the uncle, the returning nieces, and the box of matches makes for an inventive conclusion. Running time: 8.5 minutes.

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