ALCOFRIBAS, THE MASTER MAGICIAN (1903)
aka L’enchanteur Alcofribas
Article 4202 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies and Jeanne d’Alcy
What it is: Magic trick short
A man pays a magician money to conjure up a woman. The man is hoping to court the woman when she appears, but it seems that the magician has other ideas.
This is another of Melies’s magic trick shorts, though it starts out pretending it has a plot with a man trying to get a magician to conjure up a female companion for him. The reason it doesn’t work out that way is simple; the magician is far more interested in showing off his various magic tricks than fulfilling the man’s wishes. So, once he makes a complete woman appear (his first trick only conjures up half a woman), he then uses her as a prop for other tricks, much to the frustration of the man who paid his money. This isn’t one of his better shorts; it looks ragged around the edges and the special effects seem rather clumsy at times. Melies has done better.