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The Christmas Dream (1901)

Le rêve de Noël (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy | 23 November 1901 (USA)
The entire story of Christmastide is here depicted. The scene opens in a large boudoir of an apparently wealthy man's home. His children, assisted by their governess, are about to retire. ... See full summary »

Director:

Georges Méliès (uncredited)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Méliès ... Beggar
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Storyline

The entire story of Christmastide is here depicted. The scene opens in a large boudoir of an apparently wealthy man's home. His children, assisted by their governess, are about to retire. Before lying down they hang up their stockings on the edge of the bed. The picture changes and night appears. We see the housetops of the town and angels are flying about depositing packages in each of the chimneys. Santa Claus is also busy and furnishes our little friends with numerous presents. Again a change in the picture and we see the corridor of the old village church. The sexton, an old grey haired man, stands by, while a number of lusty boys pull the rope attached to the great bell in the belfry. The bell tolling in the steeple bursts into view, after which the interior of the church is seen with the full choir accompanied by the organist and choir boys singing the Christmas hymn. Another change and the boudoir is again before us and the children are looking over their presents while their ... Written by Edison Catalog

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

23 November 1901 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christmas Dream See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Star-Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the opening dance scene, one of the dancers accidentally loses his show as it is left in the frame for the remainder of the scene. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Extraordinary Voyage (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Dreams and a Christmas Play
16 September 2009 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

This appears as a rather disjointed film, lacking a firm narrative. Early cinema pioneer Georges Méliès based it on contemporary seasonal stage performances, and the result is a series of vignettes relating to Christmas. The center is one family, but only as bookends, or a framing, to the views. Additionally, the film begins with children going to sleep, which, especially in early cinema language and even more so for Méliès's films, strongly suggests that what follows is a dream. (Plus, the title gives it away.) The second scene is meant to be dancing toys and the third is of angels dropping presents down a chimney. It's fruitless to view the rest of the scenes within the dream context, however, even though there is no clear transition from dreamworld back to reality. All scenes are transitioned by dissolves, which was the standard Méliès established in his prior year's release "Cinderella" and for which he continued to use for much of his oeuvre. Overall, "The Christmas Dream' is interesting for being somewhat different from Méliès's other films, which were usually of the féerie (fairy films) and trick film genres.

On a side note, besides being somewhat disjointed, this film doesn't seem as polished as some of Méliès's other films are. The opening scene is only a few seconds, as opposed to the lengthy toys dance which follows. In the angels on rooftops tableau, there's a brief glimpse of a misplaced double exposed angel. For at least one transition, the in-camera dissolve barely appears. Yet, I suppose, these are minor errors to criticize a motion picture from 1900 for.


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