The Magical Hen (1902)

aka La poule merveilleuse
Article 5336 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-4-2017
Directed by Ferdinand Zecca
Featuring Ferdinand Zecca
Country: France
What it is: Something you can’t unsee

A magician does magic with hens and eggs.

First, a digression. There’s a well-known exploitation movie called BECAUSE OF EVE that is mostly famous for a specific sequence. If you’ve seen or heard of the movie, you probably know which one I mean. Now imagine if you saw that sequence….backwards. This digression will become clear shortly.

I’ve seen lots of these early trick shorts so far, and for the most part, they’re pretty difficult to differentiate. However, there are a few that stand apart for one reason or another (or for good or bad). This is one of them. Why? Well, let me describe in detail the first half of this short.

1 – A magician carries on a hen and removes from its backside six eggs.

  1. He then cracks open each of the eggs and a chick falls out.

That’s the first half of the movie. What happens during the second half? Basically, they run all the footage from the first half backwards. Which means…. well, I’m sure you’ll understand the BECAUSE OF EVE reference now. And I don’t think you can blame for finding this one a bit on the queasy side.


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