The international audience knows Paul Fejos as the man who directed the silent movie "Lonesome" in America.
"Marie Légende Hongroise" could be subtitled " Lonesome Mary" ;it substitutes the dreary Hungarian country for the urban landscapes of New York City .But unlike the two characters of the American classic,Marie is and will stay alone.
Marie has got no family and she works as a servant for a widow (?) and her daughter.The beginning begins as an updated " Cinderella" :there is a ball and ,unlike the fairy tale character ,she is allowed to go.But she won't meet her prince but a young bourgeois who gets her pregnant and then walks out on her.She's turned out everywhere before finding a home in a seedy place (the recurrent feature of the whores with a heart of gold) where she has her child and she's fine.But Mary has not heard the last of the establishment.
A very simple story,told with a great simplicity ,which features at least two very good scenes in the church where Marie is gazing at a statue of the Virgin which almost comes alive.The way gorgeous Annabella is turned into a tramp walking in the church is also impressive.
But the scenes in Heaven are all the more questionable since the movie is closer to realistic melodrama than to "legend" ,in spite of its title.
Paul Fejos would continue his career for a while in France,with a remake of Feuillade's "Fantomas".
Like this?try these.....
Liliom ,Frank Borzage,1930 and its remake by Fritz Lang,1933.
Angèle ,Marcel Pagnol,1934
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