Mathias Pascal, only son of a once rich family, marries beautiful Romalinda, who has a terrible mother-in-law. She controls her daughter, and soon his home life becomes a nightmare, as well...
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Claire Lescot is a famous prima donna. All men want to be loved by her. Among them is the young scientist Einar Norsen. When she mocks at him, he leaves her house with the declared ... See full summary »
Léonid Walter de Malte,
The business tycoon Nicolas Saccard is nearly ruined by his rival Gunderman, when he tries to raise capital for his company. To push up the price of his stock, Saccard plans a publicity ... See full summary »
A sincere working-class 13-year old in France is adopted by a well-meaning philanthropic millionairess from America -- who promises his doting mother that the boy will have the finest education -- but things are not so simple.
Mathias Pascal, saddled with a stupid wife and a nagging mother-in-law, leaves home and is extremely lucky at several gambling resorts. He returns home and discovers that a drowned man, ... See full summary »
Four chapters based on the birth of a 'secret child', or a film, with chapter titles: "La séction Césarienne" (Caesarian section: a descriptive detail introducing the mother); "Le dernier ... See full summary »
Henri de Maublanc,
Mathias Pascal, only son of a once rich family, marries beautiful Romalinda, who has a terrible mother-in-law. She controls her daughter, and soon his home life becomes a nightmare, as well as his job as assistant librarian in his home town. His only moments of lights are his mother and his baby, but both die on the same day. Shocked he leaves his hometown and gets to Monte Carlo, where he wins a fortune at the Casino. Returning home, he reads his own obituary in a paper. They have found a corpse in a creek and connected it with his disappearance. Mathias, noticing that he now is free from all ties to his old live, decides to start a new one, and goes to Rome, where he rents a room in a pension full of fake spiritualists who are controlling the owner. The chief of the gang, Terence, wants to marry the owner's daughter Adrienne, and has convinced her father to give her to him, with no regards of Adrienne's feelings, who is in love with and loved by Mathias. When Terence steals Mathias ... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Marcel Lherbier,like his colleague Abel Gance ,made his most celebrated and acclaimed films in the silent era.Among all his talkies,only " La Nuit Fantastique" can be really looked upon as a classic.
"Feu Mathias Pascal " is a curious film ,depicting a character whose only wish in life is freedom.
First part depicts his family life ,with his sweet mother,his wife whose love will not last long and his mother-in-law,a shrew.It contains great scenes such as the depiction of the old library where rats come to nibble at the books.Although it's a PIrandello-inspired story,the scene when Mathias puts his dead baby into her dead mom's hands is Dickensian:it recalls this end of chapter when David Copperfield says farewell to her mother Clara Murstone they lay in her grave with his half brother in her arms.
The weak part of the story is the short transitions between the two parts which takes place in the casinos of Monte Carlo,a place best depicted in Erich Von Stroheim's "Foolish wives" (1921).
The second part could be subtitled "the liberty years" :On his way home,Mathias reads the newspapers and discovers that"his dead body was found" .So he come back to Rome,where he has not got an identity anymore .This second segment often verges on fantasy and horror with a séance in the dark,and the "ghost" who scares the hero's in-law. The ending when the hero visits his grave is the definitive step to freedom.The last picture is Chaplinesque.
Michel Simon makes two appearances as the hero's good friend who marries his wife when they all believe he is dead.
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