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To make this shot from The Palace of the Arabian Nights (1905), Méliès recranked the camera and, in a second take, shot the skeleton action directly over the already exposed footage where the men swung their swords. The swords flailed at nothing but air.

Walter Paget illustrations, Arabian Nights, W.H.D. Rouse, Aladdin, Scheherazade
"she preserved him in an existence in which he could not be said to be either dead or alive..."
Translated and sometimes concocted by Antonine Gallard from 1704 to 1714, versions of The Arabian Nights had appeared in every European language by 1905, when Mélies created his screen version. Above, Walter Paget illustrations in the 1900 W.H.D. Rouse English language version.