Voyage à travers l'impossible



Voyage à travers l'impossible

[PIèce fantastique en 40 tableaux : 1. L'Institut de géographie incohérente; 2. Le plan de l'ingénieur Mabouloff ; 3. L'usine métallurgique ; 4. Les hauts-fourneaux ; 5. La gare de Paris-Righi-Soleil ; 6. En Suisse. Les montagnes neigeuses ; 7. En wagon ; 8. Au pied de la Jungfrau ; 9. Embarquement de l'Automabouloff (système breveté en France et à l'étranger) ; 10. L'auberge de Righi (300 kilomètres à l'heure) ; 11. La table d'hôte ; 12. 500 kilomètres à l'heure (grand panorama) ; 13. Une culbute de 2 500 mètres ; 14. Terribile catastrophe. Les guides ; 15. Cinq semaines à l'hôpital ; 16. Le train spécial de Mabouloff ; 17. À toute vapeur vers le sommet de la Jungfrau ; 18. Dans les nuages ; 19. Traversée des astres ; 20. Le lever du Soleil ; 21. Une pilule désagréable ; 22. Télescopage formidable ; 23. Les débris du train. Tous sains et saufs ; 24. L'aurore boréale ; 25. Les éruptions solaires ; 26. Une température de 3 000 degrés ; 27. La glacière ; 28. Tous gelés (le bloc de glace) ; 29. Le dégel; 30. Emarquement dans le sous-marin ; 31. Au bord du Soleil ; 32. Chute du sous-marin dans le vide. Le parachute; 33. En pleine mer ; 34. Les profondeurs inconnues ; 35. À l'intérieur du sous-marin ; 36. Le feu à bord ; 37. L'explosion ; 38. Rejetés sur la côte ; 39. Réception enthousiaste ; 40. Retour à la Société de Géographie.]

An Impossible Voyage

1. The Institute of Incoherent Geography.-At the first tableau we find ourselves present at an extraordinary meeting of the members of the Institute of Incoherent Geography, gathered to discuss various propositions of the most influential members upon the subject of a proposed voyage which must surpass in conception and invention all previous expeditions undertaken by the learned world. Under the presidency of Professor Polehunter, assisted by Secretary Rattlebrains, by the Archivist Mole, by the Vice-president Humbug, the members of the office, Easily-fooled.

2. The Plan of the Engineer Crazyloff.-The president announces the arrival of the engineer Crazyloff, originator of a marvelous scheme. Introduction of the engineer, who explains his project, in which he is to employ all the known means of locomotion-railroads, automobiles, dirigible balloons, submarine boats, etc., etc. The engineer makes a sensational demonstration, which rallies all the votes. He is immediately empowered to construct the material; the scheme of the voyage is voted upon. The wives of the president and the engineer, Mrs Polehunter and Mrs Crazyloff, and the servant of the society, are so filled with enthusiasm that they decide to set out with the savants.

3. The Machine Shop.-Superb decoration representing the interior of a machine-shop in full blast. Everything is in motion; flywheels of stream-engines, hammers, stampers, cranks and pistons; steam floating in the air. The entire scene is marvelously realistic. Crazyloff is plunged into algebraic calculations. The servant Bob brings him his breakfast. Crazyloff, exasperated by his insistence, lets go a kick of the foot into the tray held by the servant, and sends tea-pot bread finger-bowl, napkin and the rest into smithereens. Arrival of the members of the projected expedition, coming to examine the progress of the work. The engineer shows them a unique train of his own invention, which will be surmounted by two dirigible balloons, and which will contain an automobile on a new plan, a submarine boat perfected, an ice-box and a thousand other accessories, the purpose of which we will divine later.

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4. The High Furnaces.-Crazyloff leads his auditors to another part of the machine shop. He makes them watch the casting of a colossal piece of a machine. Mrs. Crazyloff, who has been standing too near, is suffocated by the smoke and faints. Somebody calls for water. An overzealous workman sops her face with a sponge which he has saturated in a bucket of water. The lady comes to her senses and becomes excited and enraged when she finds herself inundated with water; she slaps the workman and throws the bucket of water at his head. Violent altercation. Crazyloff puts himself between the belligerants.

5. The Station of the “Paris-Righi-Sun” Railroad.-The preparations are terminated. In a most remarkable setting, in which a modern station is truthfully depicted with all its commotion, one sees arrive the members of the expedition, who go and purchase their tickets. The servant, laden with parcels, bags, band-boxes, etc., is successively turned head over heels by an employé, who bumps against him with a box, and by a baggage truck which sends him rolling before a carriage pushed by another employé. The irascible servant administers the unwilling author of the accident with a severe correction. Everybody embarks in the train excepting two laggards, who arrive just in time to see the door closed in their faces. The locomotive whistles and smokes. The train departs.

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6. In Switzerland. The Snow-Capped Moutains.-The train of the Paris-Righi-Sun, after having left the frontier, traverses a superb landscape amid rocks almost perpendicular and falls of natural water. One sees it pass far away in the distance, then it comes to the foreground over an iron viaduct. It is the special train of Crazyloff, with all its accessories which give to it a strange aspect.

7. Aboard the Train.-the coach containing the travelers is seen in cross section with its various compartments. The wheels roll round, the train seems to speed onward at a high rate. The telegraph lines, following the optical illusion, ascend and descend. Suddenly, the three doors of the compartments open together, and three employes announce “The Jungfrau. Everybody gets out.” Then they shut the doors simultaneously. The travelers make ready to get out.

8. At the Foot of the Jungfrau.-One sees here the outside of the station at the foot of the mountain. Picturesque decoration. The inhabitants of the country awaiting the coming out of the geographical society whose sensational arrival has been heralded. Disembarking of the travelers. Some freight handlers lower the auto from the train and push it outside the station. The members of the expedition come out acclaimed by the enthusiastic inhabitants who have been excited by the audacity of the projected voyage, the accounts of which having been reported in the country for the month now past.

9. Embarkation in the Auto-Crazyloff. (System patented in France and in America.) The travelers, to the number of fourteen, embark in an impossible carriage decorated with colossal lanterns, with a monstrous projector, and with a horn of unheard of dimension. The top of the carriage is covered with the baggage of the savants. The servant takes his place on the back. The freight handlers receive their tips. Crazyloff in person assumes the duties of the chauffeur. The carriage starts up and darts off at a terrific speed.

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10. The Inn of the Righi. (200 miles an hour.)-Crazyloff, relying on his machine, sends it driving at a breakneck speed. At the food of the Righi there is an inn. The innkeeper and his staff perceive the carriage whirling at a deadly clip and they make despairing signals to forewarn the daredevils that a catastrophe is imminent, the way making a sharp turn before his inn. Little lost, however, the auto arrives like a waterspout, and knocks down the wall of the inn into which it penetrated, amid a whirlwind of dust. (Setting very picturesque. Fall of snow. The wall which the carriage knocks down is real, and falls upon the travelers).

11. The Table d’Hote.-We are inside the inn. Twenty-four persons are eating breakfast at the table d’hote. Suddenly the wall at the right falls in and the auto crosses the picture while passing over the entire length of the table, knocking over everything. The guests struck with terror, fall to the floor, the servant lets go a pile of plates which are broken with a crash. The unperturbed chauffeurs cry to the amazed guests: “Do not disturb yourselves. We are only passing though.” The auto, knocking out a window upon the left, continues its course into the country. (A sensational tableau.)

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12. 300 Miles an Hour.-Grand panorama. In no wise disturbed by this accident, Crazyloff increases the pressure and darts on at a dizzy speed. The snow rages and falls in gusts. The carriage leaps over mountains and valleys while the ranges move by with a fantastical swiftness. The members of the expedition are nailed to their seats, serene and unmoved. Suddenly the carriage ascends an almost perpendicular slope and arrives at the summit of the Righi, disclosing in the background a magnificent panorama.

13. A Fall of Two Miles.-Having reached the summit the rash travelers pass over the crest and the carriage starts on a terrific plunge, bounding from one rock to the other and finally falling into space.

14. A Terrible Catastrophe. The Guides. (A tableau most effective).-The carriage, filled with its personnel, comes to rest at the bottom of a precipice, where it is smashed to pieces. The top falls in, sending the baggage in every direction. The unfortunate travelers are buried in the snow under the debris of the auto. But fortunately a party of guides and mountain-climbers come to their aid and extricate them from their painful situations. The lame savants are borne away by the guides-a great cinematographic novelty.

15. Five Weeks in the Hospital.-Our savants are all lying in a hospital ward, tended by nurses. The president, Polehunter, undergoes trepanation. Five weeks later their wounds are healed. Cured, but not demoralized, they ask only to be permitted to continue their journey.

16. The Special Train of Crazyloff.-the exterior of the hospital. Before the entrance is the special train. The embarkation of the travelers. The fat Mrs Polehunter is put in by force, for the door is too narrow for the unwieldly person. The train departs.

17. To the Summit of the Jungfrau at Full Speed.-Crazyloff, furious at not having been able to realize his projects at the Righi, sends his train to the summit of the Jungfrau. The train arrives in full blast at the summit, leaps off, and sustained by its dirigible balloons, flies off into space.

18. In the Clouds.-the train spins on among the clouds, which move in an opposite direction, throwing into the air a trail of smoke.

19. Among the Stars.-Night comes on gradually; the train still rolling at full speed, passes stars, asteroids, comets, nebulous constellations, planets, heavenly bodies of every possible sort, all seeming to move at a rapid rate and sparkling in space like fireworks.

20. The Rising of the Sun.-Dawn appears; the clouds scatter themselves little by little; the sun rises. The rays brighten and the heavenly body slowly appears. The sun awakes-a face on the grin appears among the rays and yawns by dislocating his jaw.

21. A Nauseous Pill.-The train arrives, moving at full speed, and rushes straight into the mouth of the sun. The latter, after a series of comical grimaces, begins to spit fire and flames, result of indigestion caused by this disagreeable and unexpected pill.

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22. Terrible Telescoping.-Fantastical solar landscape of the most curious effect. The train falls in the sun. The locomotives, tender, the coaches, pile one upon the other in indescribable chaos. The catastrophe terminates with a volcanic eruption upon the surface of the sun mixed with projections of fire and masses of sparks of a superb decorative effect. (Absolutely new trick.)

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23. The Debris of the Train.-All are safe and sound. Marvellous decoration representing the shattered wreck. The savants crawl out from under the heap, and after having been counted, recognize with joy that in spite of their unheard of adventure nobody has been hurt. Crazyloff comes out with a black eye, the others with scratches and contusions. The clothing of the heroes of the adventure are in tatters. Crazyloff, enthusiastic over the novelty of the landscape, leads the savants in the discovery of this unknown country.

24. The Aurora Borealis.-The savants admire upon the horizon a magnificent aurora borealis, spreading upon the bizarre objects a weird clearness. The scene is covered with crystals in extravagant shapes, which strike with astonishment the members of the expedition.

25. The Solar Eruption.-Suddenly, while the savants are plunged in admiration, the warmth of the rising sun begins to make itself felt. The sun smokes, tongues of flames come out of every part, and the warmth begins to become intolerable.

26. A Temperature of 3,000 Degrees.-The temperature increases more and more, the atmosphere becomes suffocating. The unfortunate members, regretting their adventure, remove their clothing, dripping with sweat. The warmth increases always and the unfortunate see themselves doomed to certain death after a frightful agony, when the engineer, Crazyloff, recollects, quite apropos, that in the catastrophe the ice-box has remained intact. It is safety.

27. The Ice-Box.-The ice-box is brought out and all rush into the interior. Crazyloff, ready to collapse, has remained the last, and he is only willing to go in when he sees that all are out of danger, but an appalling spectacle presents itself to his sight.

28. All Frozen: The Block of Ice.-The savants, suddenly frozen, are imprisoned in a block of ice, in attitudes most grotesque. The intense cold which reigns in the ice-box has instantaneously rendered them rigid.

29. The Thaw.-The intrepid Crazyloff, listening only to his courage and seeing that there is not an instant to lose, surmounts his sufferings, and, drawing out of the debris of the train a bundle of straw, puts it in front of the ice-box and sets it afire. The flame crackles joyously and the heat produced, together with that of the sun, makes the ice melt and frees the savants. Crazyloff cries to them to get out and to leave at the earliest moment these inhospitable places. It is necessary to return to earth at the earliest possible moment.

30 Embarkation in the Submarine.-The savants, at a hustling gait, return to the scene of the disaster, and among the wreckage of the train they find that the submarine boat has been miraculously saved and injured only slightly. They open a hatchway and all scurry head over heels into the boat, which has remained upon the car where it was originally loaded.

31. On the Edge of the Sun.-The steam escapes. Crazyloff has put the helix in motion. The latter, striking the air, makes roll to the edge of the sun the car which supports the boat. The car thumps up against a rock and stops short. By virtue of the principle of inertia, the boat hurled forward continues its motion, leaves the car, slips upon the rock and falls into the vast waste of space.

32. Fall of the Submarine in Space.-The parachute. Happily the engineer has foreseen all. At the moment when the boat falls into space, a folded parachute spreads out its upper part suddenly and retards the fall of the boat, which henceforth works slowly and majestically.

33. In the Open Sea.-The boat and its parachute, the descent of which has been steadily accelerated, arrives at the surface of the ocean. The waves back into foam and the boat and its passengers are engulfed in the sea.

34. The Unknown Depths.-Amid fish and marine algae, the submarine continues its course, propelled by its helix and lighting the way by a powerful electric projector.

35. Inside the Submarine.-One sees inside the savants happy at having escaped so great a danger and discussing the means for trying to find out where they are. Crazyloff insists that they are near the coast; a lively debate takes place, for the others maintain that they are out in the open ocean. Crazyloff, in order to prove the reasons for his assertions, opens a movable porthole provided with a glass. Through the wide opening one sees pass by wreckage, aquatic animals, fish, medusas, anemones, octopuses, etc., etc.; and thanks to the lighting of the projector, the savants, with the aid of a long glass, descry the land a short way off. They believe that they are at last saved.

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36. The Fire on Board.-But a final accident awaits them. Whilst the machinist, whose cabin one sees at the left, is oiling his machine, a cloud of smoke bursts forth. A fire is shouted. There is a great jostling. The savants make superhuman efforts to put out the fire with buckets of water.

37. The Explosion.-Suddenly a fierce explosion takes place. The boiler leaps up and the boat is pulverized.

38. Thrown Back Upon the Land.-In a sea-port the sailors are busy with their occupations. They are suddenly knocked over and laid flat by the explosion of the submarine, which has just taken place a short way out from the shore. A piece of the boat falls among them. The sailors leap up frightened, and rush to examine the singular thing which has just fallen from heaven. They are amazed to see come out the savants who, by a wonderful providence, have been sent into space with the remnants of the boat and have fallen back to earth without experiencing any very severe wounds. The servant whom one seeks for, for a moment, comes smiling out of a smashed man hole.

39. A Warm Reception.-The savants, whose adventurous voyage everybody has heard of, are recognized by the crowd; they ae acclaimed and borne away in triumph. Crazyloff, carried on the shoulders of some stalwart sailors, brandishes with pride the helix of the submarine which he has just come across again upon the ground. He will keep it as a souvenir of his incredible expedition.

40. Return to the Geographical Society.-The savants, after having got calmed down, and having put on their gala attire, go back to the institute in state to report the experiences and the results of their voyage to the members who were too timid to accompany them. They are attended by all the notabilities of the land: generals, admirals, ministers, representatives, savants, women of society, etc., etc. A fanfare of trumpets and a grand procession. They mount the monumental staircase of the institute and advance into the council hall, where an enthusiastic gathering of spectators has assembled. In spite of their incredible rashness, they resume modestly their accustomed labors as if nothing had happened, without paying the least attention to the bravos which are shouted in their acclamation.

MEL 1905-A

An Impossibile Voyage

Forty scenes.

SEA 1908


1 Méliès 641-659  
2 Georges Méliès  
3 <27/12/1904 374 m/1233 ft
4 France  


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