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Max accepts a wager that he cannot remain in a haunted castle for one hour (11 PM to midnight) without crying for help. As soon as he arrives he encounters strange and nightmarish visions, but he is nevertheless on the verge of winning the bet when a phone-call brings startling news . . . Written by
When Max Linder returned to France after working in the US, he bet his friend Abel Gance - known for making big, splashy spectacles - that he couldn't make a movie in less than three days. Gance accepted the bet, and this film is the result. See more »
A Collaboration Of two Of The Most Important European Silent Film Personalities
Au Secours!" is a frenchified film that is a collaboration of two of the most important silent film personalities of that European country: Herr Abel Gance und Herr Max Linder.
For Herr Gance to direct this two reel comedy was a kind of break after the contrarieties and problems during the filming of "La Roue" (1923) and before he began another complicated and colossal film project, "Napoléon" (1927), so, "Au Secours!" was an amusing trifle filmed between masterpieces, two film milestones in the silent film history. For Herr Linder, this film was his next to last film before he decided to leave this cruel world.
The original idea of the film was Max Linder's who was a close friend of Herr Gance. It's not a very original idea for a comedy: Herr Max accepts a bet to spend an hour in a haunted house in order to win 1.000 francs, but there's a funny and surprising finale. In spite of "Au Secours!" being merely a divertimento, it has excellent examples of the superb Herr Gance's cinematic achievements and techniques; for example, when Herr Max is clinging to a chandelier the image is distorted in different ways to give the illusion of vertigo. And there is also a fascinating travelling shot when Herr Max is entering the house, a shot that shows us the terrors awaiting the unknowing hero.
The comedy works perfectly well at the service of an efficient Herr Linder who will have to deal with a crowded haunted house full of strange devices and monsters, not to mention the great variety of animals that are in there ( hypos, hyenas, snakes, crocodiles, tigers ), giving the impression that it is more of a zoo than a haunted house.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must ask for more daily help.
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