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 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.
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.
King Edward VII of England and the President of the French Republic, Armand Fallières, envision tunnelling the English Channel; nevertheless, only a maiden voyage can determine whether this is a triumphant aspiration or an acrid nightmare.
A poor but honest young man wins the hand of a beautiful Princess after facing a series of exciting adventures involving apparitions, cartwheeling skeletons, a dragon, and plump dancing girls from the Folies Bergere.
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
This Georges Méliès adaptation of the legend of Rip Van Winkle is certainly interesting, if not always successful. It is a relatively lavish production for its time, with detailed sets and hand-tinted color in the final print. It changes the story considerably in order to allow for some of Méliès's special camera effects, yet there are several stretches of the movie in which the camera tricks take a back seat to slapstick or exposition.
While it keeps the basic character and some of the story developments of the tale as it is usually told (from Washington Irving and earlier legends such as Peter Klaus), it also changes quite a bit. Rip's domineering wife is replaced by other problems, and the dream that Méliès imagines for him takes center stage.
There are certainly many Méliès touches, in the interesting details and in the special effects, but overall, it doesn't have as many high points as do his best features. Aside from his adaptations of Jules Verne, he was usually at his best when coming up with his own ideas. Nevertheless, this is a watchable adaptation, and the changes to the story make it unpredictable even if you are well familiar with the original story.
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