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The Haunted Castle

(1897)

also known as: Le Château hanté

directed by Georges Méliès, 1 minute

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THE HAUNTED CASTLE is a literal translation from the French title, LE CHATEAU HANTÉ. The fact that an 1896 Méliès film is also often known as THE HAUNTED CASTLE (though its French title, LE MANOIR DU DIABLE, could more properly be translated as THE DEVIL'S MANOR) has caused confusion to catalogers. Compounding this, the two films share more than English-language titles. The backdrop for LE CHATEAU HANTÉ is evidently reused from LE MANOIR DU DIABLE. Both films also employ the same substitution splice effects applied to spooks and skeletons. What's most interesting about this HAUNTED CASTLE is the red hand-coloring that's been applied to this print. The first frame-specific motion picture color process, hand-stenciling was implemented by the Thomas Edison company as early as 1895 and it suited the Méliès aesthetic perfectly. Virtually all of France's hand-colorings were executed at the workshop of a Madame Thullier, who employed, at the practice's peak, as many as two hundred women laying aniline dyes onto the image, frame-by-frame. Madame Thullier selected and arranged the color patterns herself, making her something of a co-auteur to Méliès when it came to color versions of his films. Naturally, exhibitors paid more for a colored print than a black-and-white one. - Brian Darr

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Reviews

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1 user found this helpful Created 8 months ago.

...amazing what someone can do in less than 60 seconds in a film. I loved it.

1 user found this helpful Created about 2 years ago.

Charming introduction to Melies, whose genius as an illusionist translated so well to the burgeoning art of movie making.

1 user found this helpful Created over 1 year ago.

Amazing for the time period...

Created 5 months ago.

I love these Melies films! No matter how short....

Created 10 months ago.

retro special effects somehow more enjoyable than what we've got now

Created about 1 year ago.

I can not imagine how long it took to color each frame. Beautiful.

Created over 1 year ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

NOW YOU SEE IT

Created over 1 year ago.

fair

Created over 1 year ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

Interesting early colorized short film. Not too scary, though.

Created almost 2 years ago.

It was to short to make an opinion.

Created about 2 years ago.

awesome

Created about 2 years ago.

It is really amazing that the first major filmmaker brought the level of artistry to such a jaw-dropping level.

Created about 2 years ago.

Quick, but a fun example of hand colored silent movies, by the Hugo uncle. We watched several. Imaginative, and great costuming of the era, and also early sci fi.

Created about 2 years ago.

Fascinating! It's hard to fathom a movie from 115 years ago.

Created about 2 years ago.

Loving hand colorized. Oft told story done well.