L’EPEE DU SPIRITE (1910)
aka The Spirit of the Sword
Article 4390 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Trick short
A stranger arrives at an inn and demonstrates the power of his magic sword to those present. When he settles down for the night, a manservant absconds with the sword, but finds it difficult to control…
I didn’t know the French title when this film entered my hunt list, but once I consigned it to my “ones that got away” list, not only was I given the French title, but I discovered that I had it in a collection of Segundo de Chomon shorts I had. I can’t say for sure whether it was directed by Chomon or not, but it is definitely a Melies-inspired compendium of special effects, though Melies would have probably kept all of the action in one room for so slight a plot. The special effects are amusing enough, though I’d imagine that this type of trick short was getting old by this time. In short, this is passably entertaining, if not great.