The X-Ray Fiend (1897)

Article 3330 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-10-2010
Posting Date: 9-26-2010
Directed by George Albert Smith
Cast unknown

A man gets fresh with a woman, but they’re both unaware they’re being viewed through x-rays by a passerby with an x-ray machine.

Pretty simple trick film; while the man and the woman interact, the fiend of the title points his x-ray camera at them, and suddenly we see skeletons in their place. The skeletons are played by people in skeleton suits. They appear to be unaware how they look, and I don’t know if the x-ray part of the short has anything to do with the eventual result of the man’s attempt at seduction, but given that the movie is only one minute long, I see no reason to pursue it that much further. It’s a very early trick film by someone other than Melies, and that gives it a certain novelty value in itself.

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