A man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man's young son, however, who loved his mother deeply and misses her terribly, ... See full summary »
A man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man's young son, however, who loved his mother deeply and misses her terribly, resents his father's new wife, not wanting her to take the place of his beloved mother, and makes life miserable for his new stepsister.. Written by
This is a unique silent film--partly because of its location and partly because of the story. While "The Faces of Children" was a French-made film, the movie was shot in the French-speaking portion of Switzerland. This provided a wonderful backdrop for the story--with lovely mountains and rustic scenery. As for the story, it was much more personal and sweet than you'd typically see and was very compelling.
The film begins with a funeral. The Mayor's wife has just died--leaving him and his two children behind. After trying to make a go of it, the man realizes he needs a mother for his children and proposes to a local widow--who herself has a young daughter. But, unlike the Brady Bunch, this new blended family did not magically work out--as the parents, in hindsight, did a pretty lousy job of breaking this to the kids--in particular, the 12 year-old boy. It actually came to him as a bit of s surprise--and to make matters worse, they gave his old bedroom to his new step-sister and sister. You could understand how the kid could feel alienated. Over the next few months, the boy (Jean) had a hard time adjusting. Much of his anger was displaced on his step-sister. Ultimately, this resulted in two near-tragedies.
Overall, a very good story that doesn't get too schmaltzy and has a lot of nice action. Well-paced, nice cinematography and very good acting by the children--this one is well worth seeing.
By the way, while it doesn't significantly harm the picture, like many of the silents, a small portion of the film has severely degraded. This is very normal and the damage is minimal but pretty obvious when it occurs. The old nitrate film stock was very unstable and tended to turn to powder, liquefy or even explode!
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