A man and a woman arrive in a cafe-hotel near the belgian frontier. The customers recognize the man from the police's description. His name is Amedee Lange, he murdered Batala in Paris. His... See full summary »
Boudu, a tramp, jumps into the Seine. He is rescued by Mr Lestingois, a gentle and good bookseller, who gives shelter to him. Mrs Lestingois and the maid Anne-Marie (Mr Lestingois' mistress... See full summary »
After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the ... See full summary »
In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture. Many mingle with locals and settle down permanently - like Toni, an Italian who has ... See full summary »
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (... See full summary »
A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
This short early silent from the French master Renoir shows a good deal of imagination on the director's part although not in terms of casting: he once more looked no further than his then wife Catherine Hessling whom he was trying to build into a star for the lead role. Hessling is too old for the part, but at times she does manage to convey a degree of innocence required for the role, even if it does mean her performance borders on the (deliberately) comical at times. This being an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's tragic short story, these brief light-hearted moments are at odds with the general theme.
The second part of the film veers off into fantasy as we're treated to the girl's childlike fantasies as she slowly freezes to death. Again, there's a good deal of imagination gone into this sequence, but it does become a little repetitive after a while. The spectre of Death, initially in the form of a Jack-in-the-Box, looms over the fantasies, however, until the film climaxes with a concisely edited chase sequence on horseback.
This is a curious choice of story for Renoir, and it obviously doesn't reach the standard of his later output. However, it possesses a Gallic charm that sets it apart from most films of the era, and is worth catching simply to see a master of cinema near the beginning of his cinematic career.
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