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Faust in Hell (1903)

Faust in Hell (1903)

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Faust in Hell (1903)

The German legend of a scholar's unholy pact with the Devil would have been very familiar to most moviegoers (at least European ones), so Georges Méliès' early cinematic treatment likely got away with simply offering a fancifully illustrated late episode without the earlier narrative context (however, spoken narration provides some of the latter in this restored print). Tempted by Mephistopheles with all kinds of dancing and ethereal babes, Faust is at first excited and then terrified by the sight of various demons and monsters. The painted-set designers really went hog wild on this one, depicting the (sometimes sexy) torments of subterranean Hell with in bold terms (even when ballerinas prance in the foreground).

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