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The Firefall

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Wikipedia article

'La Cascade de feu', sold in the United States as 'The Firefall' and in Britain as 'Cascade of Fire', is a 1904 French short silent film by Georges Mlis. It was sold by Mlis's Star Film Company and is numbered 665667 in its catalogues.

Mlis plays Satan in the film, which uses pyrotechnics, substitution splices, multiple exposures, and dissolves for its special effects. The baroque frame prop was reused from the aquarium featured in Mlis's film 'The Mermaid' earlier that year.

A print of the film survives, and has been known to film scholarship since at least 1979, when John Frazer described it in his book 'Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Mlis'. However, Frazer misidentified this film as a different Mlis film, 'Beelzebub's Daughters'. (In turn, the film Frazer describes as 'The Firefall' is in fact a film by Ferdinand Zecca.) Reviewing the film, which he found slow-moving compared to other Mlis works of the same period, Frazer speculated that it may have been a "casual production generated out of a number of stock props," loosely inspired by H. Rider Haggard's novel 'She'.


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