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The Little Match Girl (1928)
"La petite marchande d'allumettes" (original title)

 -  Short | Drama  -  8 June 1928 (France)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 618 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 4 critic

An impoverished girl tries to sell matches on NYE. Shivering with cold and unable to sell her wares, she sits in a sheltered nook. Striking a match to keep warm, she sees things in the flame.

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Title: The Little Match Girl (1928)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Karen
Eric Barclay
Jean Storm ...
Axel Ott
Manuel Raaby
Amy Wells
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Storyline

An impoverished girl tries to sell matches on NYE. Shivering with cold and unable to sell her wares, she sits in a sheltered nook. Striking a match to keep warm, she sees things in the flame.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

8 June 1928 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das kleine Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce, dances a small duet as a toy soldier in this film. She had studied under Isadora Duncan's eccentric brother Raymond. See more »

Connections

Version of La jeune fille aux allumettes (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

Early Renoir
15 February 2010 | by (www.moviemoviesite.com) – See all my reviews

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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