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The Mysterious Retort (1906)

Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou La cornue infernale (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy, Mystery
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?

Director:

Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Méliès
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Storyline

In his well-equipped private laboratory, a mystic silver-haired alchemist exhausted from the endless attempts to create his magnum opus falls asleep in a deep and comfortable armchair next to a high-pressure retort. Sound asleep, the weary sorcerer won't even notice the strange manifestations emerging from the vessel's bottom, when all of a sudden, things start spiralling out of control. Is this a vivid dream, or a cornucopia of secreted desires? Written by Nick Riganas

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Plot Keywords:

fire | boil | boiling | conjurer | lab | See All (51) »

Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Also Known As:

The Mysterious Retort See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Star-Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The Mysterious Retort
20 March 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mysterious Retort, The (1906)

*** (out of 4)

aka L'alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou la cornue infernale

A wizard falls asleep in his lab when a serpent comes out from a cabinet and soon takes shape in a variety of forms including a spider, a joker and a mysterious woman. This here is another one of Melies most popular films and it's easy to see why as we're given all sorts of nice humor, some weird situations and just an overall surreal atmosphere that really makes this stick out among his hundreds of pictures. I'm not sure what it is but I always love when that serpent shows up as I find it to be one of the most interesting figures from this early part of film. It's certainly nothing ground breaking and the effect of it is obvious but it makes for a lot of fun. The spider here and its web is another major plus. Fans of the director will certainly enjoy the humor here and if you're new to Melies then this is a good place to start.


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