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The Life of Moliere (1910)

Molière (original title)
We first see Moliere at work in his father's shop, when a boy. All the employees are busy at their appointed tasks, except the youthful playwright, who snatches time to re-read one of his ... See full summary »


Léonce Perret


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Credited cast:
André Bacqué André Bacqué ... Molière
Abel Gance ... Molière jeune
René d'Auchy René d'Auchy ... Louis XIV
Amélie de Pouzols Amélie de Pouzols ... Armande Béjart (as Mademoiselle de Pouzols Saint-Phar)
Mary Brunel Mary Brunel ... La servante La Forest
Madeleine Sézanne Madeleine Sézanne ... La muse de Molière
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fabienne Fabrèges
Jeanne Marie-Laurent Jeanne Marie-Laurent
Léonce Perret
Valentine Petit Valentine Petit


We first see Moliere at work in his father's shop, when a boy. All the employees are busy at their appointed tasks, except the youthful playwright, who snatches time to re-read one of his earliest efforts. The door opens and the Italian comedian, Scaramouche, enters in quest of a particular style of chair. Moliere tenders his play for perusal; but, just as Scaramouche begins to be interested, Poquelin, the father of Moliere, comes in unexpectedly and the play is hastily thrown out of sight. Again the boy poet places it in the comedian's hand, and some clever work is done by Scaramouche, as he tries to read the manuscript without being detected by the stern upholsterer. The next scene shows Moliere at the Louvre palace, where he meets Louis XIV for the first time. Here we see the scorn of the courtiers for the actor-dramatist and the consideration shown for him by the King. This scene will be remembered for the delicate beauty of the interiors shown. Next we view the stately splendor ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Biography | Drama





Release Date:

29 October 1910 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Moliere See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Voice of Bergman (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Perret, Feuillade, Gance and, Of Course, Moliere
21 August 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

This was a major production for Gaumont -- 20 minutes at the currently accepted speed of the surviving print. However, Abel Gance, who had only been in the movie business for a year, was an ambitious revolutionary, intent on making film its own art form. He would do so over the next couple of decade, pushing the technical limits for special effects.... and then, over the following thirty years, come to be seen as an old stick-in-the-mud, someone for the New Wave of French Cinema to mock.... because they wanted to make their own movies, and he stood in their way.

Gance was too new to be let direct his own work at this stage -- he would not direct his first short until 1911 -- so the job was handed over to two of Gaumont's older hands (Perret and Feuillade) and Gance was given the minor but key role of Moliere as a youngster, just as he would cast himself as Saint-Just in NAPOLEON. I like to imagine he stayed around the production, arguing with the directors, or just thinking of how the movie should be shot. These old men with their outdated ideas! They should make way for younger men with better ones! Just as the writers in LES CAHIERS CINEMA wrote about him almost half a century later.

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