In going for a doctor for her sick grandfather, Sally Castleton is detained at the toll-gates by John Derr. The old man dies and the villagers organize themselves into a band of night ... See full summary »
John H. Collins
Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
Film composed of 10 episodes: 1.- L'Ami felon. 2.- Le secret de L'etang. 3.- L'Ambition au service de la haine. 4.- L'Implacable verdict. 5.- Le Pont vivant. 6.- La Voix du sang. 7.- Les ... See full summary »
In the kingdom of the Moguls, Prince Roudghito-Sing, a young officer of the palace, falls in love with Zemgali, a captive princess held prisoner and coveted by the Grand Khan. Fleeing the ... See full summary »
A disgraced sea captain signs on as a crewman on a cargo ship. He discovers that the vessel is captained by the very man who stole his ship, a sadistic brute who also took the former ... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
By 1820, Edmund Kean is the most admired Shakespearan actor. But if his art is peerless, his free lifestyle is ill thought of, particularly by the high society. Kean has fallen passionately in love with Countess Elena de Koefeld, the wife of the ambassador of Denmark. Elena loves him too but hesitates to give up her rank in society and follow Kean. On the other hand, Anna, a rich heiress who refuses to marry Lord Mewill, the husband chosen by her parents, confesses her love for Kean and decides to become an actress like him... The aristocrats, outraged by Edmund's profligate ways, decide to boycott his performances and his career is broken. Kean does not recover from such a blow and, on a stormy night, dies in Elena's arms. Written by
"Kean" was a French film production which tells the story of Herr Kean, a very important British actor who specialized in Shakespeare's oeuvres. Kean has a lot of admirers; among them a married Countess ( an ordinary subject this, that is to say, aristocrats will flirt on any occasion ) . The production includes a lot of Russian émigrés ; Herr Alexander Volkof directed and Herr Ivan Mosjoukine was the star ( both collaborated closely during those silent years in many films ). Unfortunately, with such bizarre combinations of nationalities and revolutionary intentions, the final result is colourless, dispersed. Star Mosjoukine, one of the most important and famous Russian actors, has a certain tendency to overact, and fails to bring to his character the touch of irony necessary to make believable this British actor's fame and success among the ladies. A more noteworthy performance comes from Dame Nathalie Lissenko who plays the Countess of Keofeld, more realized and with plenty of those shades that make very attractive her character to the audience. She's an idle aristocratic woman ( another ordinary subject among the aristocracy ) who uses Kean for her own purposes. Probably those different and contrasting performances are due to the script, on which the same Mosjoukine also collaborated and is based on a novel of the French writer Herr Alexandre Dumas. The story is not developed and is too focused on the principal but superficially drawn character and gives no chance or in depth study to the gallery of other very important actors in the film. For example, the interesting character of Dame Juliet ( Pauline Po ), a Kean admirer, suddenly disappears from the film leaving her intriguing relationship with Kean unresolved. The most interesting aspect of the film is its cyclic structure; it begins with a theatrical performance of Shakespeare's "Romeo And Juliet", those passionate lovers who will end up badly and the film finishes with another tragedy, this time "Hamlet" by the same English author; fiction and reality are thus intertwined, , harmonizing tragic fiction and tragic reality. Literature and reality end in the same way with the difference that Romeo dies quickly and Kean takes half the film to do so.... A curious and cosmopolitan European film production, "Kean" is one of those arty works, an "oeuvre de qualité", so dear to the heart of Herr Volkoff ( he is the art director of the film ), but the lavish décor is merely a distraction from the emptiness of the movie. And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must recite Schiller verses to his idle German heiresses.
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