Barbe-Bleue

0361-0370

1

[Barbe-Bleue]


Blue Beard

A great fairy drama, with spectacular tableaux, in twelve scenes, as follows:

1. The Betrothal of Blue Beard.
2. Preparing the Wedding Breakfast.
3. The Wedding Feast.
4. Blue Beard departs on a Journey.
5. The Forbidden Chamber.
6. A Troubled Dream.
7. Blue Beard's Discovery and Condemnation.
8. In the Tower Looking for Fatima.
9. At the Place of Execution.
10. The Arrival of the Deliverers.
11. Death of Blue Beard.
12. Apotheosis-The Eight Wives over Blus Beard's Corpse.

MEL 1903-A


Barba Azul

Drama de gran espectáculo

MEL 1904-A


Blue Beard

In 12 Scenes with Dissolving Effects, Tricks and Spectacular Tableaux.

Scene 1-The Betrothal of Blue Beard.
At the commencement is seen a magnificently furnished audience chamber situated in the interior of an ancient castle. The Lord of the castle and his wife are giving a grand ball, in which a large number of beautiful and graceful maidens are actively engaged. In the midst of the festivities a herald enters, announcing the visit of Blue Beard, who enters immediately afterwards, surrounded by his suit. The dance is at once stopped, and the owner of the castle inquires the reason of Blue Beard’s unexpected visit. He explains that he is contemplating matrimony, and desires to select a wife from amongst the bevy of fair maidens that are present at the dance, to which the owner replies that he is at liberty to plead his own cause, and Blue Beard proceeds to press his suit with a number of damsels, who, however, pointedly refuse to have anything to do with him, owing to his evil face and horrible blue beard. Becoming infuriated at his treatment. Blue Beard causes his attendants to display his vast wealth, consisting of plate, bags of money, jewels, etc., and tries to accomplish with his fortune what his face had failed to do. Taking some rings and bracelets from the glittering heap, he offers them to the daughter of the Lord, who still repels his advances, but ultimately is compelled to accept Blue Beard as her affianced husband, owing to her father becoming overcome with avarice at the sight of such vast wealth. Blue Beard, overjoyed at the result, immediately proceeds to draw up the Marriage Settlement, with the assistance of the lawyer that he has brought with him, but, upon the lawyer’s clerk asking him for a fee, he promptly loses his temper again, and after soundly kicking him and his books about the room, flings him heavily out of the door. In conclusion, Blue Beard, taking the hand of his future bride, leads her away, followed by an admiring crowd.

2. Preparing the Wedding Breakfast.
The scene here opens in a large kitchen, where a number of cooks are busily employed in preparing the wedding breakfast. Blue Beard and his bride pay a visit of inspection and pass along toward the banqueting hall. The chef then orders dinner to be served, and a procession of immense pastries, joints, dishes, etc., takes place. Suddenly a scullion seizes a bunch of carrots and flings them at a kitchen wench who is plucking a fowl. She immediately flings her basket of feathers at an inoffensive waiter, who retaliates by flinging a large cabbage at her, but, being a very indifferent marksman, he hits a cook who is stirring a large cauldron of soup a terrific smack on the side of the head, causing him to plunge head first into the liquid, and illustrating the proverb of “too much cook spoiling the broth.

3. The Wedding Feast.
The interior of a banqueting hall is seen, with an immense number of waiters preparing the tables. The arrival of guests is then announced, and Blue Beard enters with his bride, followed by a host of invited guests. Lady Blue Beard is magnificently apparelled, her dress bearing a train to feet in length, which is carried by eight high-born pages. The company then seat themselves, and a scene of revelry occurs.

4. Blue Beard Departs on a Journey.
The wedding festivities being ended, Blue Beard is here seen standing at the gate of the castle bidding farewell to his wife previous to his starting on a journey. Handing her the keys of the castle, he gives her permission to penetrate into every room, with the exception of one, the key of which he points out, and threatens her with the most horrible penalties should she dare to disobey his commands. After having very forcibly relieved his mind on the subject, and given her to clearly understand what she may expect if she transgresses, he starts off on his trip. After the departure of her husband, she makes a tour of the apartments, and coming to the forbidden chamber, debates in her own mind whether to enter or not. At this critical moment, the Demon of Curiosity leaps out of a large volume on the shelf, and impels her to disobey her husband and penetrate the secrets of the forbidden chamber; having accomplished his purpose, he again disappears into the volume, leaving a trail and flame and smoke behind him.

5. The Forbidden Chamber.
Lady Blue Beard is now in the forbidden chamber, which she finds in complete darkness, but going to the window she unfastens the latch and throws a flood of light upon the scene. Turning around, she is petrified with horror at the sight of seven of Blue Beard’s former wives, all dangling neatly from a rope stretched across the room. In her terror she drops the key upon the floor, and upon recovering it finds it smeared with blood, and all her efforts to remove the stains are ineffectual. The Demon of Curiosity again appears to the unhappy woman, and jeers at her frantic efforts. At last almost demented, she throws the key away, when it assumes larger dimensions, and ultimately resolves itself into a good fairy, who informs her that although the stains on the key are permanent, and that consequently her position is most precarious, she will do her utmost to extricate her from her danger. After this declaration, the fairy diminishes, and the key resumes its natural proportion.

6. A Troubled Dream.
Lady Blue Beard is here seen slumbering on her couch, while at the foot of the bed the Familiar Demon is seen, causing her unconscious mind to be troubled with the most dreadful dreams. Tossing about in her sleep, the vision of the seven previous Lady Blue Beards, all neatly dangling from a rope, again appears to her, to be followed by the even more terrible impression of the infuriated image of Blue Beard, with drawn sword, proceeding to execute his vengeance and make her in a fit condition to take her place on the rope with her seven unfortunate predecessors. This awful delirium having passed, the unfortunate woman sees her room filled with bloodstained keys of all shapes and sizes, dancing around her bedchamber, and no doubt the Demon would have manufactured a still more horrible nightmare, had not the good fairy arrived in the nick of time, and driving him away from the bedside, sent her poor distracted protege into a refreshing slumber.

7. Blue Beard's Discovery and Condemnation.
Lady Blue Beard occupies her time continually in trying to rid the key of its damning smear, but without success, and at last her husband returns and finding her so engaged, asks her what she is doing. She being distracted with fear, is unable to invent an excuse, and Blue Beard seeing the blood-stained key, and understanding that his commands had been disobeyed, goes mad with rage, and prepares to slay her where she stands, and it is only with the greatest reluctance that he grants her permission to retire to the lookout tower for two minutes to prepare herself for eternity. Even during these two minutes he is constantly going to the staircase, and shouting to her not to waste time, and at last he bounds up the stairs four at a time to drag the unfortunate lady to the place of execution.

8. In the Tower Looking for Fatima.
Lady Blue Beard is seen here supplicating help from Heaven, whilst her sister, seated on the summit of the tower, is anxiously watching to see if help is near. Ever and anon the unhappy wife ejaculates, “Sister Anne, Sister Anne, can you see anybody coming?” and at last her sister replies that she can see her two brothers approaching the castle, and waves her handkerchief, making signals of distress, and trying to hasten their approach. At this moment Blue Beard appears on the scene, and, seizing the unhappy lady by the hair of her head, violently drags her down the staircase.

9. At the Place of Execution.
Blue Beard is seen dragging his wife in the most brutal fashion to the place of execution, and, disregarding her entreaties for mercy, proceeds to slowly sharpen an enormous knife in order to behead the lady. He is interrupted by a terrible uproar, and pauses irresolutely.

10. The Arrival of the Deliverers.
The door is here forced violently open, and the two brothers of Lady Blue Beard rush into the room, one being a Dragoon, and the other a Musketeer. Drawing their swords, they advance towards Blue Beard, who, nothing loth, prepares for the attack.

11. Death of Blue Beard.
A terrific contest ensues, Blue Beard fighting desperately, and although he manages to disarm one of his adversaries, he is transfixed by the sword of the other, pinning him against the wall, and being mortally wounded, proceeds to expire with convulsive contortions, whilst the two brothers and sister of Lady Blue Beard, do their best to reassure her. The old familiar Demon appears here for the last time, but before he can do any harm the good fairy arrives and defeats him, and causes the seven wives of Blue Beard to come to life again. This kills Blue Beard, and seven gaily attired Lords appear and marry the happy widows.

12. Apotheosis-The Eight Wives over Blus Beard's Corpse.
This is a beautiful landscape picture. In the foreground Blue Beard is seen lying dead on the ground, whilst the wife and two brothers are standing round him. In the air is the Good Fairy, seated in a beautiful chariot, drawn by swans, from which elevation she is seen blessing the union of the seven lords and their resurrected brides.

LUB 1903-01

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1 Méliès 0361-0370  
2 Georges Méliès ; Segundo de Chomón  
 

Cinematógrafo Martí
Rambla Estudios, 9.-Esport-hípico. Rally paper (única en Barcelona) tomada en la quinta de los señores Marqueses de Marianao en San Baudillo del Llobregat. Además espléndido programa el más amena y espléndido que se exhibe en Barcelona, Colección de vistas fijas, verdaderos cuadros copia de los expuestos en el museo de París-De 5 a 11.
Jueves. Estreno en este Cinematógrafo de la película de 500 metros Barba Azul, el mejor ejemplar presentado en Barcelona iluminado exprofeso por el reputado iluminador de películas don Segundo Chomar [sic].


La Vanguardia, Barcelona, 12 de febrero de 1902, p. 8.

3 1901-< 29/12/1901 210 m/690 ft
4 FranceParis
 

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0361-0370 01

Photo originale, tirage argentique postérieur (1950/60s) [D.R.]

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