Le Diable au Couvent, 1899, 3m09s Star Film Catalogue No. 185-7
In a convent, a priest adjusts the position of some chairs before departing. As soon as heâs gone, the devil (Méliès) emerges from the font, and looks around. Spotting a rope dangling from the ceiling, he tugs on it, and a bell rings. He wraps his cloak around himself and turns into a priest. Seven white-clad nuns enter and kneel on the chairs as the priest/devil mounts the pulpit. He begins preaching, and the nuns cross themselves. He turns back into the devil, and they react with horror, fleeing the room as he laughs menacingly. He descends from the pulpit and makes the font and then the chairs disappear. He summons up demonic gargoyles to decorate the walls. He opens a trapdoor in the floor and two small children emerge. He conjures up a large pan, from which four other devils appear. A giant demonic cat-like head appears, from which three women emerge. The head turns into a gigantic toad, which the devil mounts while the others dance around him. A nun enters the room and holds up a crucifix. The devil reacts as though scalded, and the others vanish. He gets off the toad, which also vanishes. He confronts the nun, but cannot get past the crucifix. Three more nuns appear, each holding crucifixes, and they surround the devil. They then vanish, leaving the devil on the ground. He gets up, and is confronted by a guardsman. They fight, and the devil sends his opponent packing. Another man enters and chases the devil up to the pulpit. The devil jumps to the ground and vanishes. Bemused, the man descends from the pulpit, only to find the devil emerging from another trapdoor. The man tries to assail him, but the devil disappears down yet another trapdoor, immediately reappearing in the pulpit. A group of men and boys clad in white surplices enter. A statue of Saint Michel appears, and when the devil attempts to climb onto its plinth, the statue comes to life and throws him off. The devil disappears in a puff of smoke, while the men and boys file out.
Director: Georges Méliès Writer: Georges Méliès Stars: Georges Méliès (as The Devil) Country: France Release Date: 30 June 1900 (USA) Also Known As: The Devil in a Convent Also Known As: The Sign of the Cross Production Co: Star-Film
Runtime: 3 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Film length (metres): 59.74 m
Printed film format: 35 mm