This film is being shown as part of a short season of films with a 'Fashion' content, which is more to do with the style of a given film than its storyline. That's really by the way because for French Cinema buffs this is a chance to see an early sound film from the iconic Marcel L'Herbier and anything else - acting, photography, editing etc - is a bonus. Charles Boyer made his very first film for L'Herbier some eleven years previously and was, at this time, very active in movies - L'Epervier was one of five titles he shot in the same year. The leading lady, Natalie Paley was making her debut here which is a tad strange as her mannered performance is reminiscent of someone who had spent several years in Silent film where gesture is everything. She made another five titles in the subsequent three years and then wisely called it a day. The third leg of this eternal triangle, Pierre Richard-Wilm, actually played several leads and sometimes in distinguished films despite minimal talent. Not surprisingly L'Herbier shoots sumptuously with imaginative camera angles and sophisticated settings. The plot has married couple Boyer and Paley making a good living as card sharks playing the top casinos until Paley's head is turned by Wilm. After a certain amount of melodrama man and wife are reunited. In sum: Plot, 4 - 10, Style, 8 - 10.
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