The Magician’s Alms (1905)
aka La charite du prestidigitateur
Article 5924 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Alice Guy
What it is: Special effects short with a moral
When a vagabond begs off of a magician, the latter uses his magic to regale the vagabond with a hearty meal and a new set of clothes. But there’s a catch…
Alice Guy really didn’t direct many movies that fall into the fantastic categories, but here’s one of them. Here she deals with a common enough theme from the era in that it features a magician demonstrating his skills, but it takes it one step further; there’s a story and a lesson to be learned here, though that doesn’t become apparent until the final moments. It makes for an interesting variation on a common theme, but it’s shorts like these that remain a little more memorable because of that variation.