Photo stills from Le Chaudron Infernal

The Infernal Boiling Pot (Le Chaudron Infernal) is a 1903 one of the first horror films produced. It concerns a green-skinned demon who places a woman and then two courtiers into a burning cauldron. He performs an incantation and three spirits suddenly appear from the flames, before dancing above his head. Frolicking in hellish joy, the demon watches as the three spirits burn up and fall to earth.

  • Country: France
  • Run Time: 1 minute
  • Color: Tinted
  • Release Date: 17 October 1903 (USA)

Plot Edit

The demon, Belphegor, the executioner of Hell, awaits the arrival of three unfortunates while watching the fire which burns under an enormous caldron prepared for mortals condemned to the flames of the infernal regions. A subaltern prods the three unfortunates with the teeth of his fork. Belphegor seizes them one by one and throws them into the furnace. Each one of the bodies flames up in its turn, sending into the air long tongues of fire. His assistant arrives and with a long iron rod stirs up the remains of the victims in the caldron. Suddenly three long streaks of smoke come out of it, each one of which, leaping about in the air, assumes a vague form resembling that of a human being but with a transparent, phantasmal appearance. These are the three souls of the mortals which have been separated from the body, and which seek to escape from the demons. (These living personages move about in the air crossing one another. It is easy to see that these transparent, mysteriously ghostly figures are really alive, but their weird shapes create a sensational curiosity. A very fascinating and absolutely new trick.) But Belphegor does not permit his prey to escape. At a sigh from him, the three phantoms fade away and are transformed into three leaping flames--they have become will-o'-the-wisps who must forever remain with the vast concourse of Satan's victims. Belphegor, having finished his duties, disappears mysteriously into the caldron, which bursts into pieces and is dissolved into smoke.Written by Méliès Catalog.

Film Edit

1903 - The Infernal Caldron - GEORGES MELIES - Le chaudron infernal Boiling Pot

1903 - The Infernal Caldron - GEORGES MELIES - Le chaudron infernal Boiling Pot

Cast Edit

Written, Directed, and Starring:

Georges Méliès

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