The Famous Box Trick (1898)

aka Illusions fantasmagoriques
Article 4102 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-9-2012
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Magic short

A magician does several tricks on a small child that he pulls from a box.

This is one of Melies’s magic shorts, where a magician appears and does a variety of tricks. This is one of his earlier examples, and I couldn’t help but notice that he seems to have taken extra care with the jump cuts in this one; they’re some of the smoothest I’ve seen from his oeuvre. My favorite bit has him using an ax to cut the boy into two duplicates of himself. In and of itself this one is nothing special, but at least it was made early enough in his career that it doesn’t feel that he just churned this one out.


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