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The Famous Box Trick (1898)

Illusions fantasmagoriques (original title)
Not Rated | | Short , Fantasy | 1903 (USA)
From the depths of a plain wooden box, a skilful conjurer materializes a lively boy in a clown suit. Next, he takes a heavy battle-axe. What are his intentions?


Georges Méliès (uncredited)

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Credited cast:
Georges Méliès


Opens with a magician compressing something white in his hands. It transforms into a living dove. which is quickly deposited into a box sitting on a table behind the magician. In short order several other articles are tossed into the box out of which springs a young boy in clown makeup. The magician helps the boy down then places him atop another small box. He then picks up an executioners ax and appears to be going to slice the boy lengthwise. Instead, as the ax touches him the boy turns into twins! The magician then uses his mystical powers to make first one and then the other disappear. To prove they haven't gone into the box, he destroys it then causes the boy to reappear on top of one of the pieces. .Hoisting the child one more time he makes him transform into a French and an American flag which the magician waves triumphantly. But for the big finish he hops onto the table, bows his head and disappears only to reappear through a stage door for one final bow Written by DrRichardh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

set | theatre | scene | wooden box | trick | See All (10) »


Short | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1903 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fantasmagorical Illusions See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Georges Méliès,Star-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Hugo (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Famous Box Trick
28 March 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Famous Box Trick, The (1898)

*** (out of 4)

aka Illusions fantasmagoriques

In this film Melies plays a magician and we are entertained with various tricks related to a wooden box. As to be expected, the special effects are very good here and they remains very believable even after a hundred years. One of the tricks deals with Melies putting a boy in the box and making him disappear and there's another good gag of splitting the boy in two and making him two different kids. The film runs just over a minute and manages to be very entertaining for that time, although this isn't the greatest magic show the director did.

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