The Spider and the Butterfly

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The Spider and the Butterfly
Directed by Georges Méliès
Starring Georges Méliès
Release date
  • 1909 (1909)
Running time
80 meters[1]
Country France
Language Silent

The Spider and the Butterfly (French: Papillon fantastique) is a 1909 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès.


Méliès plays the magician in the film.[2]

Release and survival[edit]

The Spider and the Butterfly was released by Méliès's Star Film Company, and is numbered 1530–1533 in its catalogues.[1]

The end of Méliès's filmmaking career was marked by mounting financial difficulties, forcing him eventually to close his studio.[3] In 1923, Méliès discarded his collection of negative and positive prints for his films.[4] After living forgotten and in poverty for some years, Méliès was rediscovered by film devotées in the late 1920s.[5] On 16 December 1929,[6] a "Gala Méliès" was held at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, reintroducing Méliès and his work to posterity.[4]

The Gala Méliès included projection of eight Méliès films that had managed to be recovered,[4] including The Spider and the Butterfly (the others were Whimsical Illusions, The Diabolic Tenant, The Wandering Jew, A Trip to the Moon, Baron Munchausen's Dream, The Merry Frolics of Satan, and The Conquest of the Pole).[6] After the Gala, the print of The Spider and the Butterfly went missing once again;[6] it was presumed lost as of 2008.[1] A fragment of the film was rediscovered in time to be included in a 2010 DVD collection of some of Méliès's films.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 355, ISBN 9782732437323 
  2. ^ Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 281
  3. ^ Frazer, John (1979), Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Méliès, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., pp. 46–48, ISBN 0816183686 
  4. ^ a b c Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 10
  5. ^ Frazer 1979, p. 55
  6. ^ a b c Cosandey, Roland (1997), "L'inescamotable escamoteur ou Méliès en ses figures", in Malthête, Jacques; Marie, Michel, Georges Méliès, l'illusionniste fin de siècle?: actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, 13–22 août 1996, Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne nouvelle, pp. 65–66 
  7. ^ Méliès, Georges (2010), Georges Méliès: Encore (DVD; short film collection), Los Angeles: Flicker Alley, ISBN 1893967565 

External links[edit]