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also known as Après le bal

After the Ball 1897

  • 3.2
Georges Méliès' fantasy films and his re-enactments of current events shared an important quality: both offered audiences images they could not have seen outside the cinema. There's something of this in the appeal of a pornographic or erotic film as well. Featuring a scenario so trite it has become timeless (a woman removes garments in order to be bathed by her maid), AFTER THE BALL may be the only surviving example of a Star Film given over entirely to erotica. According to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, it was a tamed-down remake of Eugène Pirou’s 1896 BEDTIME FOR THE BRIDE and was "marketed as being suitable for private screenings to broad-minded bachelors." Méliès' mistress Jeanne d’Alcy was the actress who stripped down to a form-fitting body stocking and had coal dust poured as if bathwater on her body. Méliès and d'Alcy would eventually marry in 1925, twelve years after his first wife Eugenie died. - Brian Darr

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1 member likes this review

If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then films such as this are worth millions. Take a look back into unscripted life. Something you can't learn from a book or get from a oral history. Take it off... grandma!

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Member Reviews (36)

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If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then films such as this are worth millions. Take a look back into unscripted life. Something you can't learn from a book or get from a oral history. Take it off... grandma!

1 member likes this review
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So tame by our 2012 standards. Fascinating to see all those tight layers women wore. Note the sigh of relief as the "maid" unleashes the corset and the lead actress can finally breathe fully and naturally.

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After the Oscars, when the corsets come off... we shower with coal dust!

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A window into a lost era. I love this type of cinema. Odd to think it would have been considered risque. We're so bombarded with sexualized imagery now. This looks quaint and nostalgic.

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scandalous! so immodest! i love it

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Wonderful reference for students of period clothing and how it was worn!

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Short, very sweet although a little dusty! Let's remember to preserve that celuloid , whatever the image...

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Boy, that is a lot of garments for just one woman. And what was that black stuff the maid poured on her?

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Stag films have come a long way! Lol. Fun to watch what was considered "adult" back in the 1800's.

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i felt sorry for her wearing something so waist cinching, was glad to see it come off but she still had a distorted body shape. maybe from more cinching underclothing. or was her body changed by wearing it? anyway, lovely to see something by melies, and the black powder makes it into something more interesting than just a strip.

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I don't know if William Jennings Bryan would approve of seeing all this skin.

took me a half a day to watch it. ha, ha ok

a minute wasted...

not my cup of tea

Short and sweet

What was the purpose??

While this is clearly a gem from the early days of cinema and is largely a gem because it is from the early days, its charm lies not in its depiction of two women performing a perfunctory and mundane activity, i.e. a maid assisting her matron disrobe and bath. Its charm lies in the ways the two ladies inadvertently reveal that they are being filmed (at least, watched). This is not your typical reality show or peep show. Look for the maid's glance at and acknowledgement of the camera as the film comes to an end.


There was a small part of 'After The Ball' I didn't understand - why the woman's shower of water was such a dark color - reminded me of some other liquid.

Times have changed

A great illustration the costume of that era

What in the hell was that?

Very frivolous and cheeky!


Vulgar! Just kidding.

Unstead of those silent and boring Films, why don't you show some good classic french films, some films noir of the classical style.

Why is it impossible to know before starting to view a movie, who are the actors

who is the director, which language is spoken, if the movie is silent ( so you don't

lose your time at looking at it )

it was soooo stupid

An interesting look into the past. I was tickled by the glance the maid gives the camera at the end.

Not much to say.

Wow! It's at least amazing that this bit of film still exists. Love the panels of the room. Certainly to be preserved. I like how the maid looked at the camera man as if to ask "are we done yet?'

too short

Well, you can see more skin than that on any given day at the beach. How times have changed. This was fun to watch.

Interesting use of the coal. All I can say is, sure am glad I wasn't born then. Sassy looks, :)