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4 user 1 critic

The Mystical Flame (1903)

La flamme merveilleuse (original title)
A juggler enters upon the scene, picks up a skull, throws it into the air, catches it in his hands, where it is transformed into a handkerchief. The handkerchief, after being twirled about ... See full summary »

Director:

Georges Méliès

Writer:

H. Rider Haggard (novel)
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Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Méliès
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Storyline

A juggler enters upon the scene, picks up a skull, throws it into the air, catches it in his hands, where it is transformed into a handkerchief. The handkerchief, after being twirled about a wand, is changed to a napkin, and afterward to a tablecloth. Out of the table cloth comes a servant. The servant brings a low table upon which the juggler throws some magic powder. The powder takes fire and blazes up into a large flame, in the midst of which appears a beautiful female. The flame dies away, the lady descends to show that she is alive. She mounts the table again. The juggler leaves the room. The servant falls in love with the lady and proposes marriage, but she fades from view. The juggler reenters and head over heals disappears from the top of the chair. The servant rushes toward the chair, juggler reappears coming out from under the table, seizes the servant and, throwing him to the floor, reduces him to smoke. He disposes of the chair in like manner and dances off. Written by Lubin Catalog

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

25 July 1903 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mystical Flame See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Georges Méliès,Star-Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent
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User Reviews

What is there to say about such a familiar film?
27 July 2018 | by He_who_lurksSee all my reviews

Even if you've only seen about a dozen films by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, there is still a big chance that this two-minute short will come up as feeling very same ole. The thing is, Méliès made so many stage magic act shorts that this one just doesn't feel like anything new. A magician (it's Georges once again) takes a creepy-looking skull and throwing it into the air catches it and transforms it into a sheet which he makes bigger. This serves as a tool to conjure up his not-so-bright assistant. While the assistant watches, Méliès then makes appear a beautiful young Renaissance woman from the Mystical Flame of the title.

The 3-d painted backdrop herein was reused for Méliès's next film right after this, "The Witch's Revenge", telling us he was bored of waiting for new sets to be painted before making his films. Either that or the Renaissance theme was the same for both of them. As for the magic, it is very typical but the tricks are extremely well done with seamless edits and cool fades for the appearing and disappearing of the woman. Méliès seemed to like disappearances by chair at this point in his career because this film and "The Witch's Revenge" both have this. There's also a nice touch of humor with the assistant. Not new but still pretty watchable.


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