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also known as Le Château hanté

The Haunted Castle 1897

  • 3.9
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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What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

1 member likes this review

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

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Member Reviews (18)

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top reviewer

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

1 member likes this review

Amazing for the time period...

1 member likes this review

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

1 member likes this review
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Imagine! It's the end of the 19th Century and you are watching a Georges Méliès movie--in color! COLOR! What would it been like to see color images on a movie screen for the first time?

The laborous, hand-tinted color process here adds to the surreal mood of the film, in pulasating, pulpy hues that seem to be alive. It gives us a moment to pause and marvel at this visual wonder as audiences did over a century ago. Imagine!

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

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NOW YOU SEE IT

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

Looks like an intense amount of work went into such a short piece. Interesting to see something from the 1800's no less.

Wonderful little 60 second tale...short and very sweet.

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

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

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

It was to short to make an opinion.

awesome

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.

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

Loving hand colorized. Oft told story done well.

 

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