6.9/10
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11 user 7 critic

Whirlpool of Fate (1925)

La fille de l'eau (original title)
After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Virginia Rosaert
Charlotte Clasis ...
Pierre Champagne ...
Maurice Touzé ...
La Fuine
Georges Térof ...
Monsieur Raynal
Madame Fockenberghe ...
Madame Raynal
Harold Levingston ...
Georges Raynal
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
André Derain ...
Patron du 'Bon Coin'
Van Doren ...
Young lover
Pierre Lestringuez ...
Jef
Henriette Moret ...
La Roussette
Pierre Renoir ...
Farmer
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Storyline

After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the peasants coerce her to flee the peasants' riot. She is then helped by Raynal who falls in love with her but is too shy to tell her. Sheltered by his father, Virginia is robbed by her uncle of the money Raynal gave her to pay the bill in the village. He and his son then start to consider her a thief. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

20 March 1925 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Whirlpool of Fate  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
WHIRLPOOL OF FATE (Jean Renoir, 1925) ***
7 June 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Admittedly made merely to exploit his wife Catherine Hessling's "photogenic" attributes, Jean Renoir's solo directorial debut already displays his trademark humanism and painterly eye – while Hessling herself turns in a far more naturalistic performance here than she did in NANA (1926).

The plot is simple and melodramatic: Hessling loses her father, is abused by her brutish uncle (possibly inspired by Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS [1919]), falls in with crooked gypsies (who ultimately incur the wrath of the people and have their caravan burned to the ground), is taken in by a wealthy family but is caught stealing for her uncle's sake…until the latter gets his come-uppance and the girl is engaged to her employer's young son. The accompanying organ score is effectively evocative to begin with but, eventually, it takes a tediously avant-gardist turn.

The film's barge opening anticipates Jean Vigo's L'ATALANTE (1934) and the search at sea, F.W. Murnau's SUNRISE (1927); there is also some remarkably fast cutting throughout, a style which Renoir would largely forsake in his subsequent work. The highlight of WHIRPLOOL OF FATE, however, is undoubtedly an amazing dream sequence which, uncharacteristically for the director, is heavily reliant on optical effects and camera technique; incidentally, the two shorts I followed it with on Lionsgate 3-Disc "Jean Renoir's Collector's Edition" proved similarly experimental.


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