Town trollop Safia, much against her better judgment, falls in love with Matteo, a beggar and mystic in the native quarter of Sirocco. She flees to France, first as the mistress and then ... See full summary »
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
French-language version of "The Big House" (MGM, 1930), with Charles Boyer in Chester Morris's role, filmed by MGM parallel to the English-speaking version, at a time when good subtitles weren't yet in use.
"Tumultes" (1932) is an early film noir, directed by Robert Siodmak. On the basis of this film and "Voruntersuchung" (1931), I will say already that Siodmak has to be regarded as instrumental, a pioneer, a real creative power, in the development of film noir. This is without checking out a number of his other early films. If these films had been widely available when those early authors who have written books about noir set out to survey the field, they would have seen Siodmak's large contribution and lauded it. As matters stand, he is recognized for his great Hollywood films, but there is only hazy acknowledgment of his earlier works such as "Tumultes" and "Voruntersuchung" and often no recognition at all. He's up there with Fritz Lang.
These two movies provide a firm foundation to the director in having very well-defined characters. The stories feature deep dilemmas arising from close relationships with which the main character must deal. Events shake him to the root. It requires fortitude to keep going. To his credit, Siodmak evidently was attracted to screenplays with these story strengths. What I'd emphasize in "Tumultes" is how well he brought out and built upon those foundations. His staging shows continual invention, novelty and freshness; and it doesn't seem as if it's present for its own sake. It's simply effective and creative cinematic and photographic story telling. It's very natural and yet it had to be created and he had to have had the imagination to envision it and film it as he saw it. I'm reminded of Hitchcock doing elaborate story boards and seeing the whole movie in his mind before ever making it. Simple sequences on paper like Boyer serving as a cook in a prison are brought to life in ways that are dynamic. Siodmak as our eyes pulls us into his scenes.
The acting is excellent from Boyer's lover and nemesis, Florelle, as an early noir femme fatale who prefers money, men and her comforts. Boyer shows great range in his character, being called upon to be ingratiating, light-hearted, preoccupied, deceiving, angry, filled with hatred, disillusioned, bossy, generous, and filled with rage. He's beaten down but not broken.
The title of the German version, "Stürme der Leidenschaft", or "Storms of Passion", perhaps catches the spirit of the latter half of this movie better than that of the French version, "Tumultes". I'd rate this an 8, but I've added an extra point because of its creative strengths early in noir history. It deserves greater recognition.
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