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Germinal; or, The Toll of Labor (1913)

Germinal (original title)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mévisto ...
Maheu
Jean Jacquinet ...
Chaval (as Jacquinet)
...
Etienne Lautier (as Henri Krauss)
...
Catherine (as Mme. Sylvie)
Paul Escoffier ...
Dharsay ...
Souvarine
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Léon Bernard
Albert Bras ...
Hennebeau
Paul Capellani
...
la Maheude
Cécile Guyon ...
Cécile Hennebeau
Marc Gérard ...
Bonnemort
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Plot Keywords:

mining | coal | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

February 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Germinal; or, The Toll of Labor  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

Version of Germinal (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Among the earliest feature length films
19 October 2014 | by (Ojai, CA) – See all my reviews

Based on the homonymous novel by Émile Zola, the film tells the story of a worker who loses his job as a mechanic and wanders to northern France where he starts working as a coal miner, gets involved in a rivalry over a girl, and becomes the leader of a strike against the mine owners. This is probably the earliest film with a running time well over two hours. It was made at a time when European directors like Feuillade and Capellani were attempting to elevate film to an art form by basing their screenplays on great literature and achieving realism by filming on locations and and toning down the theatrical acting style that was common at the time. Yet this film is still an example of what film historians would consider a primitive film. The scenes play out as if on a stage in front of a seldom moving camera without being broken into a series of shots. The story is told in the intertitles and then recreated by the actors with no intertitles for dialogue. Nevertheless I admire the film for its realism and the crowd scenes which are among the few instances where the camera gets to tell the story.


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