Going to Bed Under Difficulties (1900)

aka Le deshabillage impossible
Article 4124 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Comic trick film

A man’s attempt to retire for the night is hampered by the magical appearance of new pieces of clothing on him as he tries to undress.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Melies’s sense of humor was sharpest in his earlier films; this surreal piece of absurdity is perhaps his single funniest film. What makes it work is that the man becomes more frantic and desperate as new clothes constantly materialize on him; he can’t even ignore them and go to sleep because his bed vanishes as well. Perhaps it’s fitting as well that the movie has no ending; this man will be removing clothes forever. It’s not surprising that this silly little short engendered a few imitations from other directors.

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