Movie reviews for movies (short films) made in 1901. Dates from IMDB.
1. “Bluebeard,” directed by Georges Melies (9/10)
This is Melies’ second really ambitious film. It’s not quite “Joan of Arc” but it is another rather incredible early “epic” film short.
2. “The Man with the Rubber Head,” directed by Georges Melies (9/10)
One of Melies’ most iconic films. It manages a new trick.
3. “The Brahmin and the Butterfly,” directed by Georges Melies (9/10)
This short features one of Melies’ most insane background paintings (a jungle that matches his costume) – though is backgrounds are among the greatest ever – and the largest puppet I can recall seeing in a film this early.
4. “Extraordinary Illusions,” directed by Georges Melies (9/10)
A cave is a new setting for him. And so are a number of the tricks, which are combined with some classic Melies gags.
5. “Captain Nissen Going through Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara Falls” [no director listed (9/10)
Exactly what it says it is. Maybe the most crazy stunt yet caught on camera.
6. “Excelsior!” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)
Typical Melies, but with a few new twists to keep it interesting.
7. “Demolishing and Building up the Star Theatre,” directed by Frederick S. Armitage (8/10)
8. “The Magician’s Cavern” aka “The House of Mystery,” directed by Georges Melies (8/10)
Some standard tricks for Melies but put together in a neat way.
9. “The Dwarf and the Giant,” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)
Basically “The Man with the Rubber Head” times 2.
10. “What is Home Without the Boarder?” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)
A more ambitious remake of “The Doctor and the Monkey.” It’s better for that ambition.
11. “The Hat of Many Surprises,” directed by Georges Melies (7/10)
Standard Melies magic show.
12. “The Bachelor’s Paradise,” directed by Georges Melies (6/10)
Pretty traditional Melies gags.
13. “The Devil and the Statue,” directed by Georges Melies (6/10)
Lesser Melies. Not much going on.
14. “The Ghost Train” [no director listed] (6/10)
I was unimpressed by this camera trick when I first saw it, but given that Melies had been using the same trick for years at this point, it’d probably be even less impressive to me now that I’ve seen many of Melies’ surviving films.