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A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
Jean Renoir's short film based on the story of Hans Christian Anderson features the director's then wife Catherine Hessling in the title role. The film tells the story of a poor girl who goes out on a snowy night to sell matches. She's unable to sell any and instead of going back to her shack, she stays out keeping warm from the matches. She strikes one lucky match and begins to see all sorts of strange things through a toy shop window. This film starts off pretty well but slowly gets boring as the surreal aspects of the story start to set in. The fantasy side of things are pretty good but it's clear Renoir was going for something a tad bit surreal and the budget just didn't allow for this to work. All of the fantasy sequences are good on their own but none of them are done well enough to really work. Hessling is much too old to be playing the character but she is able to bring an innocence to the role.
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