The Devil and the Statue (1901)

aka Le diable geant ou Le miracle de la madonne
Article 4068 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-1-2012
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Trick film

A woman is terrorized by a devil who appears out of nowhere and grows to enormous size.

With a two-minute running time, it’s no surprise that the movie has a bare-bones plot; the devil terrorizes a woman, but a statue of the Madonna comes to life and saves her. It’s got one very nice special effect of the devil growing to a huge size. It’s also got a decidedly less special special effect with the statue; it’s basically someone standing very still until the plot requires them to come to life and move, a trick that rarely works. Considering that a substitution camera trick was easily among Melies’s abilities at this point, it’s hard to understand why he chose the approach he did. At any rate, this is an okay short from Melies.

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