UNE INDIGESTION (1902)
aka Up-to-Date Surgery
Article 5358 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Grotesque trick short
A man with a stomach ache goes to the doctor and gets “treated”.
This is one of the few extant Melies shorts that didn’t make it to the DVD sets. It’s also one of his most grotesque shorts; the treatment requires the removal of the arms, legs and head of the patient with a saw at one point. The patient is then cut open and all manner of paraphernalia is removed from his innards, though the doctor does remove the heart at one point as well. Granted, it’s all done in the typical Melies style, so it’s more for laughs than horror. I’m glad to say that surgery is much less invasive nowadays. And, to his credit, after the operation, the surgeon does reattach the limbs (albeit not without some difficulty).