7.2/10
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18 user 6 critic

The Little Match Girl (1928)

La petite marchande d'allumettes (original title)
An impoverished girl tries to sell matches on NYE. Shivering with cold and unable to sell her wares, she sits in a sheltered nook. Striking a match to keep warm, she sees things in the flame.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Catherine Hessling ... Karen
Eric Barclay
Jean Storm Jean Storm ... Axel Ott / soldat en bois
Manuel Raaby
Amy Wells Amy Wells
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guy Ferrant Guy Ferrant
Mme. Heuschling Mme. Heuschling ... Une passante
Comtesse Tolstoi Comtesse Tolstoi ... La dame au chien
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Storyline

An impoverished girl tries to sell matches on NYE. Shivering with cold and unable to sell her wares, she sits in a sheltered nook. Striking a match to keep warm, she sees things in the flame.

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Genres:

Short | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce, dances a small duet as a toy soldier in this film. She had studied under Isadora Duncan's eccentric brother Raymond. See more »

Connections

Version of La jeune fille aux allumettes (1952) See more »

User Reviews

 
Moving and dreamlike
13 March 2009 | by Adrian SweeneySee all my reviews

I just stumbled on this early and silent Renoir short (along with the delightfully bizarre 'Sur un air de Charleston') on a DVD of 'La Grand Illusion' and, really, I think I love it more even than that great film.

It's loosely based on 'The Little Match Girl' but owes as much to 'The Nutcracker'; a poor match-seller (played by Mrs. Renoir, the absolutely gorgeous and appealing Catherine Hessling, who can also be seen in 'Charleston'), overcome with hunger and cold, hallucinates the inhabitants of a toyshop window coming to life around her. I imagine the animation and other special effects must have been fairly pioneering - I'm certain they're more spellbinding than anything CGI could do - and the result is magical, enchanting, heartbreaking.

The version I saw had a haunting, note-perfect accordion soundtrack by Marc Perrone.

Much as I love his other work I could almost wish Renoir had gone on like this; I could wish cinema had gone on like this.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

None | French

Release Date:

8 June 1928 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das kleine Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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