In 19th century Russia, a Tartar rebellion led by Feofar Khan separates Russia from Siberia where the Tsar's brother and his troops are making a last stand. The Tsar entrusts Captain Michel Strogoff to deliver a vital message to them.
The scene takes place in Paris in March 1793 during the Reign of Terror. The Knight of Maison-Rouge, posing as Citizen Morand, is organizing the escape of Queen Marie-Antoinette. He is ... See full summary »
It's always a tricky thing to adapt great novels into films (I haven't read it, by the way, but I know of its fame). Some filmmakers, well, producers, especially, but also directors, have this notion that if the novel is famous and/or great, the film is liable to be great, too, or, at the very least, profitable. It almost never turns out well. What masterpieces of literature ever made a great film? To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the best, but that novel's greatness lies in its simplicity (the film, in my opinion, attains greatness in Gergory Peck's performance more than anything else). Generally, if you're going to adapt a novel into a film, you certainly cannot rely on one that relies too heavily on the words; imagery is necessary. Most great films based on great literature are great because the screenwriters have actually adapted it into something new.
Now, think of a great masterpiece of literature adapted into a SILENT film. To boot, a silent film made without the inventions of Birth of a Nation to imbue it with a sense of the cinematic. Germinal is about the most unintersting film I've ever seen. Perhaps its only interest is its similarities to Fritz Lang's Metropolis, enough to make me think Lang liked it, at least. Maybe not. This is an awful film. 3/10.
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