L’ecrin du rajah (1906)

aka The Rajah’s Casket
Article 2820 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-26-2009
Posting Date: 5-3-2009
Directed by Gaston Velle
Cast unknown
Country: France

A rajah’s casket is stolen by an evil wizard on a dragon.

Here’s another silent short from Gaston Velle; once again, the influence of Melies is clearly visible. It does manage to have an outdoor shot at one point, though, which is something Melies rarely did. My copy of it opens with a comment about the excellent hand-coloring (which is true) and mentions that it was one of the earliest examples of censorship; since no other explanation is given, I assume he means the various colors that are used to obscure much of the skin of the dancing ladies. The best scene has people looking from a balcony at the wizard flying by on his dragon. It’s fun enough, but the dancing goes on far too long, and the interest level starts to flag.

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