Marguerite is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by ... See full summary »
Jean is thrown out of the house by his father, a remarried politician, out of jealousy for his friendship with his mother-in-law. He finds refuge at an artist's apartment. In the same ... See full summary »
Joseph Carl Breil's score is often considered the first original musical score written specifically for a motion picture. Breil was a prominent American composer of opera and operetta in addition to his film score work. See more »
This film was a struggle. I had to keep myself from shutting it off and doing something else. I don't think I've ever been this bored for forty minutes, not even while listening to dry lectures in algebra class.
I'm grateful that we have the legendary Bernhardt captured on film for all time, but it's unfortunate that she was not paired with adequate filmmakers who understood how to make engaging cinema. The movie is literally a recording of a stage play, all done in long shot with the actors playing for the back row. Peppered throughout are intertitles which explain exactly what's going to happen in the next scene.
The fact that this film was made in 1912 is no excuse; watch the one reeler An Unseen Enemy from the same year and you can see that film is shot and acted much better than this. Perhaps if the likes of DW Griffith had directed, this might have been a classic. Instead we're left with a movie which only functions as a historical curio and nothing more.
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