In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.
In this hand-colored short, a magician and his assistant do a series of magic tricks, including making potted plants appear, among others. Melies played the magician, and the actor Manuel played his assistant.
A man needs to get to Monte Carlo from Paris, but finds out that a train will take 17 hours to get there. He decides to go with a man with a special car, who claims that he can get there in just two hours. Complications ensue.
In this loose adaptation of American writer Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" original story and French composer Robert Planquette's famous 1882 operetta, the indefatigable director, Georges Méliès, unfolds an enchanting woodland fantasy in seventeen vibrant scenes. Incorporating strong elements of ingenious stage tricks and theatrics, mechanical devices, cinematic special effects, and gradual dissolves between tableaux to move from stark reality to rich phantasmagoria, the unsuspecting Rip's ordeal begins shortly after his escape to the mountains to flee the local authorities' wrath. However, in the seemingly safe woods, a captivatingly eerie and haunting dream sequence will condemn our hero in a profound and almost mystical twenty-year slumber. Will the world be the same after two decades of deep sleep?Written by
French filmmaker Georges Melies does his version of the famous Washington Irving story about a man who runs into the woods to get away only to take a nap that lasts for twenty-years. Certain key points of the story are left out here so purists might be upset but this is a pretty good take on the story. This 14-minute film is hand colored and we also get the added narration that Melies added for the majority of his longer movies. The color is extremely imaginative and really adds a lot to the film but I'm starting to feel that many of the added narration isn't really needed for the movie to be entertaining. I'm sure back in 1905 it was important to keep the viewers aware of what was going on since they were sitting through a longer movie but I don't think it's really needed. The highlight of the film is when Rip must fight off a giant serpent and cut it into three different pieces only to then have more bad things happen. The ending is handled pretty well and while this isn't the greatest version of the story Melies at least keeps it entertaining from start to finish.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this