MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 24,660 this week

Backbiters (1924)
"Une vie sans joie" (original title)

 -  Drama
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 78 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Add a Plot

Writer:

(scenario)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1594 titles
created 11 Jul 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 02 Dec 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 09 Jan 2013
 
a list of 4 titles
created 12 Aug 2013
 
list image
a list of 9997 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Backbiters" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Backbiters (1924)

Backbiters (1924) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Backbiters.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Michel Simon, Marcelle Hainia, Sévérine Lerczinska
Napoleon (1927)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A film about the French Field Marshal's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Brasseur, O.E. Hasse
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: René Lefèvre, Florelle, Jules Berry
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A news-reel like movie about early part of the Frensh Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Lise Delamare, Louis Jouvet, Pierre Renoir
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon
Swamp Water (1941)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A hunter happens upon a fugitive and his daughter living in a Georgia swamp. He falls in love with the girl and persuades the fugitive to return to town.

Directors: Jean Renoir, Irving Pichel
Stars: Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life of the poor Tucker family, that worked as cotton pluggers and decided to get their own ground, but nature is against them.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Zachary Scott, Betty Field, J. Carrol Naish
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Paul Meurisse, Charles Blavette, André Brunot
Madame Bovary (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Soon after the death of his first wife (whose dowry was inadequate), Charles Bovary, a country doctor in Normandy, marries Emma Rouault, who is well-endowed in every sense. In her new home,... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Max Dearly, Valentine Tessier, Pierre Renoir
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Directors: Garson Kanin, Jean Renoir
Stars: Claude Dauphin, Burgess Meredith, Philip Bourneuf
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Pierre Renoir, Georges Térof, Winna Winifried
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Catherine Férand
Albert Dieudonné ...
Maurice Laisné
Eugénie Nau ...
Madame Laisné
Pierre Lestringuez ...
Adolphe, le maquereau (as Pierre Philippe)
Pierre Champagne ...
Le fils Mallet
Louis Gauthier ...
Georges Mallet
Oléo ...
Une fille
...
Le sous-préfet
Maud Richard ...
Madame Mallet
Georges Térof ...
Gédéon Grave
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julio de Romero
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

acrostic

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Also Known As:

Backbiters  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film directed by Jean Renoir. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Renoir or Dieudonné, master or servant, order and disorder
30 March 2005 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Interesting first (silent) movie from Renoir he realized so his wife could have the leading role of Catherine. The movie became an object of quarrel between Renoir and Dieudonné who directed this vehicle together and each played also a part in the movie. Was this a Renoir movie or one of Dieudonné, reducing Renoir to its pupil? The dispute became so heavy 2 versions exist, one cut by Renoir and one by Dieudonné. However the themes are so typically Renoir that I question the claim of the co-director. Like in so many other Renoir movies you see a picture of the relationships between masters and servants, with a clear sympathy for the servants and a great dislike for the hypocrisy of the ruling classes. Also the contradiction between order and disorder (major theme in the complete oeuvre of Renoir) is already present in this first attempt to make a movie.

Catherine is a servant girl working for the local mayor and victim of the sharp tongues of the mayor's wife and her friends. This is made clear in a first scene where she is asked to get the key of the mayor's desk at a cultural party the wife is attending. She is harassed by the whole elite who dislike the intrusion of the maid. In this scene it's made clear also that the wife has a secret lover who will later challenge the mayor's political career and will use Catherine as a scapegoat for his own ambitions. This role of "bad guy" is played by Renoir himself. The mayor who is fond of Catherine and is afraid that she'll be more victimized by his wife asks his sister to give Catherine a position in her own household. The sister has a son with tuberculosis (role played by Dieudonné). He's so weak he has no success with women of his class but of course Catherine will like instantly this fragile man. He dies after kissing Catherine while the rest of the town is celebrating carnival. The kissing scene at the window mixed with the fireworks is a brilliant moment of silent melodrama. Catherine is in mourning and because of that driven away by the mayor's wife and her friends. It is indecent that a servant girl is in mourning and shows public affection for someone who is not from her own social status. The emotions of Catherine are the element of disorder in the social ordered world of the rich. Catherine goes away and hides in a cheap hotel in the city where she is also bullied by a local pimp who sees in her an easy target to exploit. By accident Catherine is seen in the hotel window with the pimp, so more reason for gossip by the elite. When she returns to the village looking for a job she is rejected everywhere, even by the local Christian relief organization of which the mayor's wife became president. She meets the mayor again who is shocked by the attitude of the town, takes her in his home again and promotes her to his secretary. The wife is furious of course and leaves her husband to live with her mother. It is start of a slander campaign against the political credibility of the mayor. The lover of the mayor's wife sees what is happening as a golden opportunity and makes a public attack on the moral character of the mayor (what's new under the sun?) Catherine wants to avoid the downfall of her protector and leaves the mayor, explaining herself in a note. She hides in an old tram for the rain while the mayor is driving around in his car frantically looking for the girl. Two vagabonds are thrown out of a pub and out of frustration push the tram car, so it starts a crazy race up and down the hills towards the bridge and the valley abyss. Catherine is already accepting her death but is saved in time by the mayor who has made his choice for the girl. The social implications of his choice are not shown but are clear for all.

The chase of the car and the tram and the way Renoir shows speed with the camera are rather remarkable. This final scene illustrates also the influence of the American silent movie but of course the context is quite different. This is not a funny Keystone Cops chase but pure drama. Other more stylized elements in the movie show the influence of German cinema (Renoir was a huge admirer of Stroheim). Both influences will go hand in hand in other movie productions, all financed by selling the paintings of his father, the famous painter Auguste Renoir.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Backbiters (1924) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?