|Index||2 reviews in total|
In a busy French department store, perceptive young Jean Forest (as
Antoine "Gribiche" Belot) picks up some gloves for his mother. While
watching other customers, the boy notices wealthy socialite Francoise
Rosay (as Edith Maranet) unknowingly drop her purse. Young Forest runs
to return Ms. Rosay's purse, then declines her offer of a reward.
Impressed with Forest, Rosay contacts his mother with an offer. She
will adopt him and provide Forest with the best education money can
buy. Believing her son will benefit from a luxurious lifestyle, widow
Cecile Guyon (as Anne Belot) gives up her son...
The morale of the story is obvious, but there is nary a dull moment in this silent feature. Direction by Jacques Feyder is excellent. The set decoration is likewise, and moves the story effectively, too. Note the cold sparseness of Forest's mansion bed compared to his richly adorned "poor" one. This was Forest's last film with Mr. Feyder - and it's his best performance. He even handles nude scenes well. Also terrific are the "mothers" - Ms. Rosay and Ms. Guyon. Of course, Rosay knew and had acted with Forest before; she was the directors' wife. Sadly, this was the last film for Guyon; she died at age 36.
******** Gribiche (3/15/26) Jacques Feyder ~ Jean Forest, Francoise Rosay, Cecile Guyon, Rolla Norman
"Mother of Mine" was recently restored by piecing the old existing
footage together and they really did a terrific job with this one. The
print shown on Turner Classic Movies was practically perfect and I
applaud the conservation staff!
The story is a sweet one about a rich lady (played by Françoise Rosay, the director's wife). When she loses her purse, a nice young man, Gribiche (Jean Forest) finds it and returns it. Well, she is quite taken by the lad and tracks him down later. While a NORMAL person might think of rewarding the kid, this odd lady wants to adopt him. While the family he's from isn't poor (despite the rich lady telling everyone they were destitute), the mother is single and Gribiche thinks he's in the way because she is looking for a husband. So the boy agrees to live with the rich lady...assuming it will help mold him into a gentleman. However, his benefactor turns out to be an incredibly stuffy lady and her vision of a young gentleman NEVER includes fun...just lots and lots of classes on a variety of gentlemanly pursuits. Not surprisingly, the boy begins to rebel. What's next? See the film.
While the story is a bit simple, this is pretty typical of silent films of the day. And, compared to the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of silents I have seen, it is much better than average because the story is well told...with very good acting, excellent direction by Jacques Feyder and a story that is well told and avoids excessive sentimentality. Well worth seeing.
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