The Oracle of Delphi (1903)

aka L’oracle de Delphes
Article 4780 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-13-2015
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Supernatural retribution

A cask is stored in the tomb of the Oracle of Delphi. A thief attempts to steal it, but must then contend with the ghost of the Oracle.

I always thought the Oracle of Delphi was someone who made ambiguous pronouncements about the future; here he’s just a ghost who curses would-be thieves. Maybe that’s what he does in his spare time. Unlike Melies’s magic shorts, this one actually has a story of sorts, though with a running time of a minute and a half, you can’t expect a complex story. Basically, a treasure is put in the tomb, a thief breaks in to steal it, the ghost appears and makes the thief return the treasure, and then the thief must endure a curse which transforms his head. There’s really not much here, but it’s efficiently told and fairly entertaining. Still, it’s pretty minor Melies.


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