1900 in Movies

Movie reviews for movies (short films) made during 1900. Release dates as per IMDB so if you know otherwise, do let me know.

1. “Joan of Arc,” directed by Georges Melies (10/10)

A 10-minute colorized film unlike anything else made at the time. A true landmark. The first “epic.”

2. “Davey Jones’ Locker” [no director listed] (9/10)

Didn’t write an individual review when I saw this in an anthology of early American cinema.

3. “The Cook’s Revenge,” directed by Georges Melies (9/10)

Some of the same tricks as before, but used to more comedic effect than in, say, “Four Heads” or the portrait/knight films.

4. “Sherlock Holmes Baffled,” directed by Arthur Marvin (9/10)

A super inventive film where a detective tries to figure out how a burglar keeps escaping him. It looks crude now but this was the height of invention in 1900. What it has to do with Sherlock Holmes, I don’t know.

5. “Scene from the Elevator Ascending Eiffel Tower,” directed by James H. White (9/10)

Another film I watched as part of an anthology and forgot to write individual reviews. I believe this is the first instance of a camera moving by elevator.

6. “Fat and Lean Wrestling Match,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

Melies uses one of his favourite tricks but the production values are better and the gags are more inventive.

7. “The Rajah’s Dream,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

More of Melies’ trick shots, some of which inspired Buster Keaton.

8. “The Magic Book,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

“The Mysterious Portrait” taken to its logical conclusion – much better than that film.

9. “The One-Man Band,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

Melies duplicates himself to play a band. And then they all recombine.

10. “Addition and Subtraction,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

The version I saw was in bad shape, but this is a good little summary of his tricks.

11. “The Triple Conjurer and the Living Head,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

In this film, Melies combines two of his favourite tricks.

12. “The Wizard, The Prince and the Good Fairy,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

Same old tricks at this point, but he production values are getting better.

13. “Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Palace,” directed by James H. White (8/10)

More Eiffel Tower work from James White. No review.

14. “A fantastical meal,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)

Another goofy set piece.

15. “How He Missed his Train,” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)

Similar jokes to previous films, but this one is a little more creative, and it’s really brief.

16. “Up-to-date Spiritualism,” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)

More magic tricks.

17. “Champs de Mars,” directed by James H. White (7/10)

More of Paris from White. No review because I forgot to review it at the time.

18. “Neptune’s Daughters” [no director listed] (7/10)

I believe a girl dances with weird colours but I don’t remember.

19. “A Nymph of the Waves” [no director listed] (7/10)

Don’t remember this one.

20. “The Christmas Dream,” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)

More whimsical than usual. That’s not a good thing.

21. “Going to Bed Under Difficulties,” Georges Melies (6/10)

By this time, Melies has done this ‘one man getting frustrated by his haunted room’ gag more than a few times…

22. “Eight Girls in a Barrel,” directed by Georges Melies (6/10)

Fairly routine stuff for Melies.

23. “The Doctor and the Monkey,” directed by Georges Melies (6/10)

More of a slapstick film than the usual Melies magic. Had someone else made it, I might have been more impressed. But this is kind of below him.

22. The Misfortunes of an Explorer,” directed by George Melies (5/10)

Extraordinarily brief gag.