L’araignee d’or (1908)

aka The Gold Spider
Article 4125 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-6-2013
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: A moral tale

A poor man follows a group of gnomes who discover a spider that can make gold. He steals the spider for himself, but will he be able to profit from his catch?

The first half of this special effects short is on the dull side; it spends way too much time having the man follow the gnomes around in a swamp. It’s only once we get to the grotto of the gnomes that things pick up; there are some neat special effects sequences of the spider making coins, as well as of other insects engaged in other magical activity (including one that is painting a butterfly). Things seem to go all right for the poor man until he shows he has no intention of sharing his riches with a wandering beggar, and then he discovers the price of his greed. All in all, this is a quite entertaining piece from Chomon, and it does show how at this point of time, he was besting Melies at his own game.


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