La Fée aux Choux (1896)

This year marks 125 years since the release of La Fée aux Choux (The Fairy of the Cabbages).

La Fée aux Choux is regarded as the first narrative (or fantasy) film, and depicts a lady lifting babies from a cabbage patch.

It was directed by Alice Guy-Blaché, who was also the first woman to direct a film. Guy-Blaché entered the film industry as secretary to Léon Gaumont, a French engineer who pioneered early camera equipment and film. Fed up with creating educational and demonstration film, Guy-Blaché asked to borrow equipment to make a fictional film, and Gaumont granted her use of the equipment.

Guy-Blaché would go on to create over 700 films, likely as the only female director in the world. She would later compete with other well-known French directors such as Georges Méliès.

As well as directing film, in 1907 she formed the largest pre-Hollywood studio with business partner George A. Magie.

In the 1940s she began her autobiography, which was published in 1976, which allowed her to put her accomplishments in her own words, after finding that she was having to constantly correct supposed factual statements about her life.

More information about Alice Guy-Blache can be found at the Women Film Pioneers Project.

The original 1896 recording has since been lost, but Guy-Blaché made two further versions in 1900 and 1902. The version below is likely the 1900 version.

If you're here because of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2021, please stop by the theme reveal page which has a full list of all films used in the challenge.


  1. The title of the film sounds so much better in French than in English!

  2. Oh, wow. I think I need to track down her autobiography. Thank you for the post!

  3. Well, what a strange little film.
    It seems that in the early films, women were a lot more present, especially in directorial positions, than they are today...

    The Old Shelter - The Great War

    1. Not particularly, Alice Guy-Blanche was very much an anomaly. Typically men invented a lot of the equipment and had a monopoly on producing films as they were the only ones with access to it (directors, as a role, weren't common). Women are certainly (and rightly) more prevalent in filmmaking today.


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