Silent Screams – Puppet Masters | The Merry Skeleton (1897)

While Le squelette joyeux (The Merry Skeleton) is more lighthearted fun with little-to-no scares [to us modern viewers], with it the Lumiere brothers lay the groundwork for using special effects to create monster movie magic, which has advanced a tad in the 100+ years since.

In fact, only 3 years later, Frederick Armitage successfully transported the skeleton away from the static black background and onto a pirate ship at sea for Davey Jones’ Locker. The next thing you know, Davy Jones is raising hell in a Disney movie setting sail towards $1 billion dollars, literally. Thanks, Lumiere brothers!

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Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – At the Hypnotist’s [Chez le magnétiseur] (1897)

This is one of the earliest Guy-Blaché films in which we see the influence of Georges Méliès. One striking difference is the longer distance that exists between the onscreen action and the camera.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000144/

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – The Fisherman at the Stream [Le pêcheur dans le torrent] (1897)

The Fisherman at the Stream (aka Le pêcheur dans le torrent), is a comedic prank film of a type which began with Louis Lumière’s L’arroseur arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled). In fact, Alice Guy-Blaché also filmed a remake of Lumiere’s short, but that movie is now presumed lost.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000164/

March Melies Madness! – After the Ball [Après le bal] (1897)

Considered the 1st “Adult” movie due to containing semi-nudity, After the Ball (aka Après le bal) features a maid assisting a woman (Jeanne d’Alcy, who would later become the wife of Georges Méliès).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0222735/

March Melies Madness! – The Bewitched Inn [L’auberge ensorcelée] (1897)

An inn’s patron (Georges Méliès) readies himself to rest in his room, only to be foiled by various haunted tricks. The Bewitched Inn (aka L’auberge ensorcelée) can be considered a culmination of three previous surviving films by Melies: A Terrible Night, A Nightmare, and The Haunted Castle.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000138/

March Melies Madness! – The Surrender of Tournavos [La prise de Tournavos] (1897)

A unique Méliès due to being a war scene re-enactment and containing no elements of fantasy or camera tricks. The Surrender of Tournavos (aka La prise de Tournavos).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223958/