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A Terrible Night

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Directed by  Georges Méliès
Release date  1896 (1896)
Country  France
Initial release  1896
Production company  Star Film Company
Cast  Georges Méliès
Produced by  Georges Méliès
Running time  20 meters/65 feet
Language  Silent
Director  Georges Méliès
Producer  Georges Méliès
A Terrible Night httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  A Nightmare, The Bewitched Inn, Playing Cards, Post No Bills, Joan of Arc

A terrible night 1896

A Terrible Night (French: Une nuit terrible) is an 1896 French silent comedy film by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 26 in its catalogues, where it is listed with the descriptive subtitle scène comique.



A man tries to go to sleep, but is disturbed by a giant bug climbing up the bed and onto the wall. He attacks the bug with a broom and disposes of it in a chamber pot in a compartment of his bedside table.


A Terrible Night predates Méliès's use of cinematic special effects in his films (the first known Méliès film with camera effects is The Vanishing Lady, made later in 1896). Rather, the giant bug is a simple pasteboard prop controlled with wire.

The film was made with the Méliès-Reulos portable camera in the open air, in the garden of Méliès's home in Montreuil, using natural sunlight and a cloth backdrop. Méliès himself played the man attempting to sleep.


A film commonly identified as A Terrible Night is known to survive and has appeared on various DVD collections. However, Méliès's great-great-granddaughter, Pauline Méliès, published findings in 2013 suggesting that the film commonly believed to be A Terrible Night is actually a later Méliès film, A Midnight Episode, numbered 190 in the Star Films catalogues, and that the original A Terrible Night—featuring simpler scenery and different camera placement, but the same plot and the same bed—survives in two print copies: a photocollage held by the Cinémathèque Française and a flipbook published by Lèon Beaulieu around the turn of the century. If this hypothesis is accurate, both A Terrible Night and A Midnight Episode survive.


A Terrible Night Wikipedia

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