A family has a sick woman at home. Her girl goes out in the snow to beg.
The Christmas Angel (1904)
Original title: L'ange de Noël
(Original) L'ange de Noël
(Alternative) Détresse et charité
A poor family in a rundown house where snow falls through the broken roof, there's no coal to heat the pathetic little stove, mother is sick, father sends daughter out to beg. Rejected by other beggars, the girl collapses in the snow…
Two endings for the film were made. In the version for French audiences, the beggar girl freezes to death after her collapse, and her soul is brought to Heaven by the Christmas Angel of the title. In the version for British and American audiences, a rich couple passing by in an automobile rescue the girl, bring her home, and lavish gifts upon her family.
|Georges Méliès||-||The Rag-and-Bone Man/Coal Seller|
|Rachel Gillet||-||Marie, the beggar girl|
Melies show that he indeed can do well with longer format films at the time, without too much trickery. I liked this one, even though it's sad, it brings hope for the Christmastime in a very American, materialistic, way - in the US ending that is. I could not find the French ending. There is a critique of the seemingly rich churchgoers here as well, as they are the ones that are supposed to give and help, but they ignore and mock the beggars instead - a sad scene in itself.