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The Christmas Angel (1904)

L'ange de Noël (original title)
A family has a sick woman at home. Her girl goes out in the snow to beg.

Director:

Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Rachel Gillet Rachel Gillet ... Marie, the beggar girl
Georges Méliès ... The Rag-and-Bone Man / Beggar on Crutches / Coal Seller
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Storyline

A family has a sick woman at home. Her girl goes out in the snow to beg.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

1904 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christmas Angel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Star-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Film Catalogue no. 669-677 See more »

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User Reviews

A Touching Little Movie Even Now
30 July 2018 | by He_who_lurksSee all my reviews

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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