A ROADSIDE INN (1906)
aka L’hotel des voyageurs de commerce
Article 3547 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-6-2011
Posting Date: 5-1-2011
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Minor Melies
Three pranksters invite a drunkard to spend a night in a room in a hotel so they can play jokes on him.
The primary joke involves a dummy dressed up to look like a ghost and run by strings; this is to frighten the drunkard. For a Melies film, this is singularly unambitious, though it does have a sort of split-screen effect with half of the screen in the bedroom and the other half out in the hall. Though the fantastic content involving the ghost is faked, the ending has a twist that moves it into the realm of fantasy, although I’m not sure of exactly what happened. As stated above, this is fairly minor entry in Melies’s oeuvre.