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The Enchanted Well (1903)

Le puits fantastique (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Drama, Short | 27 June 1903 (USA)
Denied a handout, a witch exacts vengeance by cursing the village well.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Townsperson
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Storyline

Townspeople are seen walking past the village well. A man and a mule [the latter obviously a person in a mule costume] stop nearby as the man prepares to get water. An old crone accosts the man and begs a hand-out, but the man indignantly refuses. As he turns back to deal with his mule, the crone reveals herself a witch and curses the well, then exits, shaking her fist. The man returns and fetches water, but when he pours it from the well bucket into his own bucket, the water turns to flame. Simultaneously, a demon appears over the well, laughing at the man. As the man rushes at the well, the demon disappears, and the well suddenly surges out of the ground into the sky like Jack's beanstalk. Two snakes [hand puppets] spring out of the side of the well and taunt the man, then vanish. Three demons appear, jeer at the man, and disappear. The base of the well opens up and a dragon emerges, roars, grabs the man by the foot, and attempts to pull him in. Then four human-sized frogs crawl out... Written by wmorrow59

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Genres:

Fantasy | Drama | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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27 June 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Enchanted Well  »

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User Reviews

Enchanted Well
14 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

Enchanted Well, The (1903)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

aka Le Puits Fantastique

A group of men, including Melies, walk past a well and all appears to be fine until one of the men takes an elderly woman's donkey and then the well comes to life with the Devil and various other monsters coming out of it. This is a highly entertaining short that once again deals with Melies fascination with the Devil. I'm really not sure why the Devil made so many appearances in Melies work but it's clear the director likes having fun with him. The special effects of the well turning into the Devil's furnace was nicely done and the overall pacing of the film is top notch. The various creatures coming out of the well are very well done and even the man-in-the-donkey-costume looks funny.


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