See the moving picture


Méliès in America (III)

Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)

Georges Méliès, Star-Film, France, 1900

Méliès usually reserved color for his most spectacular releases, such as this 12-tableaux, 13-minute historical epic. The coloring process (which Méliès did not automate until 1905) involved frame-by-frame hand tinting. In this scene, the color contributes significantly to effect of the special-effects fire and even to a sense of heat pervading the image. The added cost of color nearly doubled (and, by 1907, nearly tripled) the price that Méliès charged for a print. Jeanne d’Arc proved quite popular, both in France and on the U.S. vaudeville circuit, but, oddly, there appear to be no complete color prints extant.

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