"The Mysterious Portrait" is a very simple little short, with Melies going back to the magician role as he presents a trick for us. It's him again in the lead role, and he presents to us a frame in the middle of a room. He walks around it and inside of it to show that it is a normal frame.
He then rolls up the backdrop to present to us a new one.
Melies places an actual picture into the frame, and then places a chair on the end of the frame.
He steps over to the side and then the frame features him.
The two of them make exchanges for several seconds, until Melies asks him to do something and the frame distorts and the Melies double goes out of view. Melies than dances around the set excited about the success of his trick.
First of all, the picture here is very bad-this has not aged well. The trick is quite neat to see, especially once again considering that it is from 1899. I love Melies' energy as usual, and this is a neat little minute long feature.