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The Conjuring of a Woman at the House of Robert Houdin (1896)

Escamotage d'une dame au théâtre Robert Houdin (original title)
As an elegant maestro of mirage and delusion drapes his beautiful female assistant with a gauzy textile, much to our amazement, the lady vanishes into thin air.

Director:

Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jehanne d'Alcy Jehanne d'Alcy ... Woman (as Jeanne d'Alcy)
Georges Méliès ... Magician
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Storyline

An elegantly dressed man enters through a stage door onto a set with decorated back screen, a chair and small table. He brings a well-dressed women through the door, spreads a newspaper on the floor, and places the chair on it. She sits and fans herself; he covers her with a diaphanous cloth. She disappears; he tries to conjure her back with incomplete results. Can he go beyond the bare bones of a conjuring trick and succeed in the complete reconstitution of a the lady? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Short | Horror

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

October 1896 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Conjuring of a Woman at the House of Robert Houdin See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (hand-colored)| Black and White
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The Magic of Méliès (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Vanishing Lady showcases a primitive form of the substitution splice.
28 July 2018 | by TheMovieDioramaSee all my reviews

Méliès was first and foremost a magician. An illusionist who pushed the limits of film during the early 20th century to create spectacles. This silent short trick film experiments with an editing technique that seemingly makes a female individual disappear and then reappear, as if it was one take. The technical astuteness and methodical editing is what makes this one minute film intriguing. Méliès attempts to recapture a stage production through the medium of film, and does so with confidence. This simply exists to prove an editing concept. There is no story, limited acting and nothing memorable to elevate this trick film. So to call it a "movie" would be slightly obscure and tenuous. The inclusion of the skeletal remains does somewhat inject a fantastical element to the technique, but it's not enough to transpire the concept as it lacks creativity that he is infamous for. Raw, basic and unmemorable. The Vanishing Lady vanishes amongst Méliès' densely populated filmography, but remains an intriguing short to experiment with a simple editing technique. Paving the way for his future lengthier films that have made a mark in cinematic history.


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