A man needs to get to Monte Carlo from Paris, but finds out that a train will take 17 hours to get there. He decides to go with a man with a special car, who claims that he can get there in just two hours. Complications ensue.
In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.
A traveler is shown to a room in an inn. After a brief dispute with the hostess and a porter, he is left to himself. But strange things begin to happen in his room, and before long he has ... See full summary »
King Edward VII of England and the President of the French Republic, Armand Fallières, envision tunnelling the English Channel; nevertheless, only a maiden voyage can determine whether this is a triumphant aspiration or an acrid nightmare.
A gang of cutthroats set ablaze a farmhouse after killing the farmer and stealing the proceeds of his sales. Captured and tried for his crimes, the pitiless plunderer faces death by guillotine, but first, a night of pure agony awaits.
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?
I think the US release title for this Méliès film is very misleading. The angel of the title actually only makes an appearance towards the end for only about ten seconds and has very little to do with the plot of the whole film. In the UK, it was released under the title of "The Beggar Maiden", which is much more fitting.
While there are hardly any special effects in this ten-minute movie, the message and visual look makes up for it. The film begins in the cottage of a poor family who is threatened by the landlord when they discover they can't pay the rent. What's worse, the mother is lying sick in bed. So the father (who almost looks like Méliès himself) sends out their daughter Marie (played by Rachel Gillet, an actress who starred in Méliès's 1901 film "Little Red Riding Hood") to beg for alms. However, no one really seems to care about the little girl's welfare except a poor rag-and-bone man, and she falls unconscious in the snow...
While the plot is extremely simple and the whole film is told in just seven scenes, the message of the film is loud and clear, managing to say more in ten minutes than most movies today could do today in several hours. It's somewhat touching and the message even now still has relevance. Not only that, the sets in the film are absolutely beautiful, even if they aren't exactly convincing now. Even the one brief special effect we see, the superimposing of the angel, looks very well done especially compared to other Méliès films of the time. A beautiful movie and very much worth seeing even today.
(Note: I'd like to point out that a stencil-colored copy of this film survives but is not currently available online. What's more, two different endings to it were made, one for British audiences and one for American audiences (I won't spoil any of them). It would be interesting to see the other ending, but as far as I know it doesn't survive).
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