The Crazy Ray (1923)

Genres - Fantasy, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Chase Movie, Sci-Fi Comedy  |   Run Time - 62 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The Crazy Ray (Paris qui Dort) was a wild Rene Clair daydream which he deftly translated into his very first directorial effort. Deliberately invoking the early "chase" films which distinguished the French cinema, Clair weaves an improbable tale of a genially looney scientist who utilizes a magic ray (an effect created with stop-motion photography) on the unsuspecting citizens of Paris. The ray causes its victims to freeze in bizarre and often embarrassing positions. Those not affected by the ray take the opportunity to lift everything that isn't nailed down. Clair's original director's cut of The Crazy Ray ran a brisk thirty minutes. Unfortunately, several foreign distributors decided to pad the picture out with arbitrary and pointless cutaway shots; while watching one of these "improved" versions late in life, Clair muttered "I don't know where the hell that came from."



mad-scientist, ray [beam], paralysis, airplane, robbery, scheme, trance


High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance