La marmite diabolique (1902)

Article 5166 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-25-2016
Directed by Gaston Velle
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Early trick short

A cook throws a young boy into a boiling pot, thus incurring the wrath of a devil.

Adventures in movie-hunting: The Walt Lee guide from which I culled this title lists the movie as being a 1903 production directed by Gaston Velle and produced by Pathe Freres. The problem is that this listing mixes up things. There are two movies of the same title: one from 1902 directed by Velle for Lumiere, and a 1904 version with an unknown director for Pathe Freres. The first of these is extant, while the second one is lost, so I’m going to use this listing to both review the extant version and write the other one to my “ones that got away” list.

The IMDB listing is for the 1904 version, and the plot description there almost sounds like the 1902 version, except it has events out of order and events that don’t occur; it was obviously a remake of this one. It’s a fairly ordinary trick short, similar to the many Melies shorts of the time, though it lacks the energy of those shorts. This earlier version is available currently on YouTube for anyone who might be interested. It is, however, nothing particularly special.

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