As Jean is walking across the countryside in search of work, he helps and befriends a young woman, Françoise, who is having trouble controlling the cow that she is leading. Jean finds work ... See full summary »
As Jean is walking across the countryside in search of work, he helps and befriends a young woman, Françoise, who is having trouble controlling the cow that she is leading. Jean finds work at a local farm, but he soon finds himself caught in the middle of the conflicts in Françoise's family. Her uncle Fouan has just decided to divide everything that he has amongst his two sons and his daughter, hoping that he can then spend the rest of his life at ease. But the details of the division only create bitterness, rivalry, and intrigue. Written by
This film is slow moving, boring, and just about incomprehensible. How audiences of 1922 sat through it is beyond me, considering all the great silents that had been and were being made before and at that time. I found no humor, no character study, no gripping narrative structure, no suspense, no remarkable photography, or any bold "naturalistic" acting. Adding up these faults amounts to what was, for me, a gigantic yawn fest. Nor did the music score help at all. In its way it was just as poor as the film. It comprised three or four instruments each vying for the spotlight, especially the slow, somber, so sad viola. Someone with a couple of washboard-type, probably homemade, instruments attempted to provide percussion but succeeded only in creating cacophony.
Apparently, this film is of no great import in the history of film. I have several film history books in which I checked for mention and/or discussion of La Terre, but found not one inclusion. Curiously, The History of Motion Pictures by Bardeche and Brasillach--who were French film historians!--contains no reference to La Terre and has perhaps three lines re its director, Andre Antoine, none of it particularly glowing.
Though I wasted 90 irretrievable minutes of my time, I am grateful that I didn't spend $29.95 or some such ridiculous amount to buy this mess, which would be hyped, I'm sure, by "Digitally restored!" and "Now you can own this long lost French classic!" and "'Marvelous!' says Joe Blow."
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