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The Conquering Power (1921)

After losing his father, a playboy moves in with his miserly uncle, who seeks to cheat him out of his inheritance.


Rex Ingram


June Mathis, Honoré de Balzac (story "Eugénie Grandet")


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Cast overview:
Alice Terry ... Eugenie Grandet
Rudolph Valentino ... Charles Grandet
Ralph Lewis ... Pere Grandet
Carrie Daumery ... Mere Grandet (as Edna Demaurey)
Bridgetta Clark Bridgetta Clark ... Madame des Grassins
Mark Fenton Mark Fenton ... Monsieur des Grassins
Ward Wing Ward Wing ... Adolphe des Grassins
Eric Mayne ... Victor Grandet
Edward Connelly ... Notary Cruchot
George Atkinson George Atkinson ... Bonfons Cruchot
Willard Lee Hall Willard Lee Hall ... Abbé Cruchot
Mary Hearn Mary Hearn ... Nanon
Eugene Pouyet Eugene Pouyet ... Cornoiller
Andrée Tourneur Andrée Tourneur ... Annette


Young playboy Charles Grandet is sent to live with his miserly uncle after his father loses his fortune. He and his cousin Eugenie fall in love, but his uncle sends him away and tries to arrange a marriage more to his liking (and profit!). Will true love triumph? Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

8 July 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eugenie Grandet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pere Grandet: Great stupid! You might have broken it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A silent version with an uncredited piano accompaniment has been shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel. It has Turner and MGM front ends and runs 90 minutes. The only crew credits are for the director and writer Balzac, and the only cast credits are for Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry, in that order. See more »


Version of Eugenie Grandet (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent silent film directed by Rex Ingram and starring - Rudolph!
30 May 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Conquering Power" is an amazing film starring Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, and Ralph Lewis. In the film, "the conquering power" is intended to be love, though in the original material, it's that root of all evil, money/gold. Here, Charles (Valentino's) father loses his fortune, and before he kills himself, he sends his son to his estranged brother. His brother, Grandet, is a wealthy, cruel miser who takes advantage of Valentino's bad luck. He has a lovely daughter, Eugenie (Terry) and she and Charles fall in love, in spite of the fact that they seem to be first cousins. Charles decides to seek his fortune, and Eugenie makes him a gift of her gold, given to her each year by her father on her birthday.

Well, the "Sunset Boulevard" phrase "We had faces then" certainly applies to this film. There were so many odd-looking, wizened up, elderly people in this film, it was astounding. They were all fascinating to look at and seemed to showcase the beauty of Terry and Valentino all the more. Valentino is excellent, ever elegant, and is particularly handsome in the beginning and toward the end of the film, when he sports casual clothes, a mustache, and 5 o'clock shadow. For the scenes at his uncle's, his makeup is somewhat exaggerated in the style often used in the '20s - and this is one actor who needed no accentuation. Terry is lovely and gives a wonderful performance.

The star of this film, however, is Ingram's direction, particularly at the end, where mysterious hands come out of a cradle filled with gold and from everywhere else, Gold itself makes a human-like appearance, spitting out coins, and walls literally close in. Fantastic effects done many, many years before the computer and requiring a lot of imagination.

Highly recommended - we are so fortunate to be able to see some of these films, even if they are not in pristine condition.

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