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... See full summary »
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Gabriel de Gravone
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The life of a great city (Paris) from dawn until dusk, including the beautiful and the ragged, the rich and the poor, with little or no comment (intertitles) from the director, Cavalcanti (whose first film this was).
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>
I like long films but this one would have been greatly improved by shortening it.
"The Living Dead Man" is an incredibly long movie--clocking in at almost three hours. Now I am not against long films--many of my favorite films are this long or longer. However, the story doesn't seem to justify the length and several times irrelevant subplots could have been eliminated in order to tighten the story. In addition, at some times the leading man (Ivan Mozzhukhin) was great but at other times he stared off into space as if to say 'I'm trying to be artsy, folks'! However, despite these problems, the film is worth seeing--particularly for silent film buffs.
Mathias' life sucks. His family has lost their fortune, his mother-in-law who lives with him is Satan and his wife has slowly started to become just like her mother. To top it off, he ends up losing his mother and daughter on the same day!! Truly his life stinks. All this took an hour to tell--but could have been done so, easily, in half this time.
On a lark, Mathias takes a trip to Monte Carlo. There, he's insanely lucky and wins a fortune. As he's returning home, he reads a newspaper--only to discover he's been declared dead! Some poor guy's body washed ashore and folks thought it was Mathias! Now, the idea of starting a new life without his nasty wife and mother-in-law dawns on him and he moves to Rome. So far, so good, but the film bogs down on a needless plot involving spiritualist thieves. Where all of it goes from here, you can see for yourself. But my advice is to perhaps hit the fast-forward button in places--it really needed it. But, despite this, the film still manages to get a recommendation from me. Good but it could have been a lot better.
By the way, this film has an incredible multinational cast--with Russians, Americans, Frenchmen and a soon-to-be famous Swiss actor, Michel Simon. Such casts were not easy to create once talking pictures came into vogue.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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