Le Parapluie fantastique



Le Parapluie fantastique

MEL 1908

The Magic Umbrella

The scene is similar to that seen at Coney Island, where a number of shows are constantly going on. A Juggler enters, dressed in promenade costume, with an overcoat hanging over his arm, a silk hat on his head and carrying a cane. Laying down his coat and cane, he uses his hat for some of his juggling feats. Throwing the hat to the ground, it suddenly becomes a balloon, which he catches and balances on the end of the cane. The balloon, turns into a piece of cloth, which in turn becomes an umbrella cover on the end of the cane. Concealing himself behind the umbrella for a moment, he suddenly comes forth clothed in the costume of a young Greek. He draws out of the umbrella a beautiful woman in Algerian costume. One after the other, he takes from the umbrella a Swiss, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Turkish, Holland, Swedish and Gypsy Maiden, and, as a finish, a beautiful Fairy appears, the latter dropping out of a bunch of roses as they fall from the umbrella. Thus there have been produced by one umbrella, ten beautiful maidens which our Juggler poses in a charming group. He causes each one to jump to the floor, but in their descent each one changes her costume to that of an up-to-date coquette. They all engage in a dance, and, the scenery changes, The Juggler assumes his original costume. He tears the umbrella apart and the latter again becomes a cane. He misses his hat. Perceiving the balloon in the corner, he seizes it, and it again becomes a high hat, which he dons and bows himself out of the picture.

LUB 1904-06

Paraguas famoso

MEL 1904-A

Ten Ladies in one Umbrella

The scene represents the front of a side-show in the process of construction. Before the booth is a platform made of boards on trestles; at the back one may see the different kinds of shows which make up a fête foraine, which is much like the “Bowery” at Coney Island. There are the carrousels, wooden horses, etc. A gentleman (a professional juggler) enters upon the scene in promenade costume, his overcoat on his arm, a silk hat on his head and a cane in his hand. He lays down his cane and his overcoat, and seizing his hat he uses it for executing some juggling feats. Suddenly he throws his hat on the floor, but it rebounds and is transformed into a balloon, which the artist catches and balances on the tip of the cane. The balloon, in its turn, is changed into a piece of stuff which he twists about on the point of his cane, then throws it into the air, catching it with his cane. The stuff winds about the stick and forms a large umbrella, which he opens so as to show that it is absolutely empty. Concealing himself for a minute behind the umbrella he transforms himself into a young Greek dressed in ancient classic style. He draws out of the umbrella a young Algerian woman who was shut up in it. Out of the umbrella comes another woman dressed in a Swiss costume, then again comes a Spaniard, a Russian, an Italian, a Turk, a Hollander, a Swede, a Gipsy, and finally a Fairy. (The latter makes her appearance out of bunch of roses as they fall from the umbrella.) In all, ten women emerge from the umbrella very mysteriously. They mount upon the railing. The young Greek makes them transform their picturesque costumes into classic robes, and the railing becomes a superb pedestal which forms with the figures a charming group in sculpture. At a sign from the prestidigitateur, the booth before which the latter is performing immediately disappears to be replaced by a magnificent Greek temple which completes the setting.

The young Greek adores these new divinities, but desiring a livelier spectacle he urges them to leap down from their pedestals. No sooner said than done, and when they reach the ground their Greek costumes have vanished and have been replaced by the dresses of up-to-date coquettes. While they dance joyfully about, the temple and the pedestals disappear-the booth with its platform and railing resuming finally their original form. The young Greek leaps upon the railing, assumes the garb in which he first appeared-that of a gentleman in promenade costume. He tears the stuff off the umbrella which has fallen down, and the latter becomes again a cane. The stuff which was wrapped around the umbrella takes the from of his overcoat, which he carried when he entered upon the scene. Perceiving that he has no hat, the illusionist looks around, picks up the balloon which was lying in a corner and throws it on the ground. It immediately rebounds, lights upon his head and resumes the form of his hat. With profound bows he smiles at the audience in conclusion.

(The mise en scène is very artistic, and the subject itself, amusing, full of movement, is exceedingly catchy with the public.)

MEL 1905-A


1 Méliès 506-507  
2 Georges Méliès  
3 1903 55m/187ft/170ft (LUB)
4 France   


16/03/1904 EspagneJerez Léo Lefebvre El paraguas endiablado