World’s Oldest Color Film (just newly discovered)

Here is video of recently discovered footage, considered to be the world’s earliest color film:

Additional information about these first color films can be found HERE.

May Days of Melies – The Dwarf and the Giant [Nain et géant] (1901)

Méliès duplicates himself, and then the duplicate (or is it the original?) grows to an enormous size. 

May Days of Melies – The Devil and the Statue [Le diable géant ou Le miracle de la madonne] (1901)

The Devil and the Statue or, The Miracle of the Madonna (aka Le diable géant ou Le miracle de la madonne) progresses the new re-sizing trick which Méliès unveiled in The Man with the Rubber Head.



May Days of Melies – The Man with the India Rubber Head [L’homme à la tête en caoutchouc] (1901)

Méliès unveils a new trick in The Man with the India Rubber Head (aka L’homme à la tête en caoutchouc). A scientist (mad?) brings forth a living head he’s been storing in a box; a head that happens to be identical to the scientist (a clone?). Méliès then begins the new magic by blowing up the head, first with an expansion/contraction, and then literally.

May Days of Melies – The Hat with Many Surprises [Le chapeau à surprises] (1901)

Méliès explores a familiar theme among magicians: the hat trick. You won’t see a rabbit pulled forth, but the alternatives presented are far more spectacular.

May Days of Melies – Bluebeard [Barbe-bleue] (1901)

Bluebeard (aka Barbe-bleue) by Georges Méliès, adapted from the French folktale of the same name by Charles Perrault, contains the oldest known example of product placement in a movie. Keep an eye out for Mercier champagne!

May Days of Melies – Excelsior! The Prince of Magicians (1901)

For the most part, Méliès reveals in this film nothing new from his bag of tricks, but those he does revisit are used to perfection.


May Days of Melies – The Bachelor’s Paradise [Chez la sorcière] (1901)

In The Bachelor’s Paradise (aka Chez la sorcière aka The Witch’s Home), a young man employs the talents of a witch to conjure a selection of beautiful women for his choosing as a mate. Méliès of course allows the appropriate twisting of desires.

May Days of Melies – The Magician’s Cavern [L’antre des esprits] (1901)

In The Magician’s Cavern (aka L’antre des esprits aka The Spirits’ Lair), Méliès shows off his full bag of cinematic tricks learned thus far, including stop-cut replacement edits, superimpositions, and dissolves.

May Days of Melies – Extraordinary Illusions [Dislocation mystérieuse] (1901)

The appropriately-named Extraordinary Illusions (aka Dislocation mystérieuse aka An Extraordinary Dislocation) features Méliès as a clown with the ability to detach his head and limbs, each of which develops a life of its own. This short also features the oldest existing appearance of a backdrop that Melies would use many more times, most famously in The Infernal Cakewalk.