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Le roman d'un jeune homme pauvre (1936)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxime Hauterive de Champcey
Marcelle Praince ...
Mme. Laroque
Gaston Dubosc ...
Alain - le vieux domestique
Jean Fleur ...
Mlle Aubry, la parente pauvre
Marthe Mellot ...
Mme. De Porhoët
Marcel Delaître ...
André Marnay ...
Le notaire
Josyane Lane ...
Un ami
Suzanne Laydeker ...
Mlle. Helouin
André Baugé ...
Le berger
Madame Désir ...
La concierge
Made Siamé ...
La directrice


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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »





Release Date:

21 February 1936 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida de um Moço Pobre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Version of Il romanzo di un giovane povero (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

A visionary's journey thru the past.
16 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

Abel Gance whose best works were ahead of their time ("Napoleon" "La roue" "J'accuse" ) takes an old-fashioned novel and emphasizes its most sentimental side.A melodrama so far-fetched -the final coincidence :Maxime is actually in his own castle- takes the biscuit. One can wonder whether Gance transferred those obsolete episodes to the screen.

A young aristocrat,the Marquis de Champcey,(Pierre Fresnay)is completely broke.So he's got to work,which is decay for those who have blue blood in their veins.Undaunted ,he becomes a steward for nouveaux riches.It it interesting to note that Maxime's name is Maxime Odiot de Champcey Hauterive and the scenarists ruled out the first surname (which recalls "idiot" too much?).In the Laroque family,Maxime is ceaselessly humiliated ,even by Marguerite the daughter of the house ,he falls in love with.But he's got to carry on,for,as he writes in his diary,"I want to get the young's dowry".Max speaks of his sister but a wicked person in the mansion reads it and mistakes him for a fortune -hunter.

Maxime remains noble ,chivalrous,gentlemanly, twice he is risking death ,the first time to save Marguerite's dog(!) and the second one ,to save his love's reputation.

At times ,it seems that Gance wanted to take melodrama to new limits: everyone in the castle is coveting the old Laroque's fortune ,except for an old lady,whose only dream is to have a cathedral for her soul to rest;the shepherd's songs are unbearable today;the "Celtic" play which the family performs in the park for their peasants to dig is a ludicrous farce ;and the final unexpected twist is ...

However in the last scenes we can finally feel Gance's touch: the old Laroque confessing his crime when the villagers dance in a ring and sing the old "Trois Jeunes Tambours"traditional ....their silhouettes casting giant shadows on the castle's walls .And finally,the old lady's death and her bedroom turning into a cathedral...where the two young leads will marry at last ,to the sound of the great organ.Gance will use this kind of grandiose ending again in his " Paradis Perdu" (1939).

"Roman d'un Jeune Homme Pauvre " is a bric a brac,it looks like an ill-assorted collection of furniture.It tells a story of long ago,which takes place in a world almost as remote as the fairytale kingdom where toads could turn into princes (particularly if they WERE princes before a wicked witch cast a spell on them)

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