The Hat with Many Surprises (1901)

aka Le chapeau a surprises
Article 4133 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-17-2013
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What is it: Magic film

A gentleman uses his hat to set up a fancy dinner, using it to provide tableware, chairs, and even dinner guests.

This is another of Melies’s “magic” films, but it does have a little novelty in the fact that it actually has something of a theme; rather than using the hat to produce random items, it’s actually focused on the issue of setting up a dinner. He even has to increase the size of the hat at one point so it can disgorge chairs and dinner guests, as well as a servant. Granted, it all goes to pieces during the last half minute or so, with the table vanishing and a painting coming to life, but that’s Melies for you. I’d rate this one as one of the better of this particular genre of short for him.


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