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The Curse of Greed (1914)

Le roman d'un mousse (original title)
A moneylender kidnaps the young son of an rich widow as part of a plot to cheat her of her fortune. The boy is sent away on a fishing boat with the intention of drowning him, but a kindly old fisherman intervenes.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Adrien Petit ... Charles-Henri de Ker Armor, le mousse
Maurice Luguet ... L'usurier Elie Werb
Louis Leubas ... Le marquis Frantz de Luscky
Armand Dutertre ... Le père Paimpol
Émile André ... Dick, le patron du Terre-Neuvas
... Le président des assises
Paul Manson ... Le juge d'instruction
Bernard Derigal ... Le procureur de la république (as de Rigal)
Angèle Lérida ... La comtesse de Ker Armor
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Storyline

Werb, a ruthless moneylender, blackmails one his debtors, the bankrupt and dissolute Marquis de Luscky, into marrying a wealthy widow, the Comtesse de Ker-Amor, with the intention of murdering both her and her young son, Charles-Henri, and inheriting her fortune. Posing as a tutor, Werb kidnaps Charles-Henri and hands him over to another compliant debtor, a fishing boat captain, on the understanding that an 'accident' at sea will be arranged. Le père Paimpol, a kindly old crew member, befriends the boy, but will he able to protect him? Written by Des de Moor

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Adventure | Drama

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19 May 1914 (USA)  »

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The Curse of Greed  »

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User Reviews

 
L'Enfant De La Mer
27 April 2018 | by See all my reviews

Made shortly after his celebrated " L'Enfant De Paris ", although less internationally known, "Le Roman D'Un Mousse " solved the main problem of the aforementioned work : what we can call the sense of "meanwhile ":whereas the second part of "L'Enfant De Paris" was almost entirely given over to Bosco's investigation ,forgetting the desperate father ,"Le Roman D'Un Mousse " set the record straight: the boy's fate intertwined with his mother's : as we get closer to the ending,the sequences concerning the son and the mother become shorter and shorter,culminating in the superb scene of the trial in which Charles -Henri and his friend Paimpol vindicate the innocent defendant .

Although ,at least to my eyes , "Le Roman D'Un Mousse "is formally ,technically ,superior to the 1913 work,both stories are similar : a child from a good background suddenly plunged in hell :a drunkard's mistreated slut for the girl, ship's boy for Charles-Henri whose captain wants to do away with him at sea;both find a helping hand: hunchback Bosco 's role is played by old sympathetic bearded sailorman Paimpol .

A visionary man,Perret ,long before the overrated Nouvelle Vague which happened almost half a century later ,already took the cinema out of the studio whenever he could :there are shots of Saint-Malo ramparts ,of Le Havre harbor ,and the final scene uses the sunset to startling effects.

Great scenes:

-the hateful marquis ,who lost his fortune in gambling and debauchery,visits pawn broker Werb :they sign a pact;Werb can be compared to the Devil ,and their cynicism knows no bound when they elaborate their ominous plan.

-Werb, hired as a would be private tutor for Charles -Henri ,has his pupil write an essay ,the subject of which is :"imagine you give your tutor the slip and you embark as a young sailor on a ship ":what a cunning alibi !

-Werb ,telling his pupil that smoking cigarettes make you a man and actually drugging him .

-Charles-Henri and his new pal Paimpol on their frail barque ,tossed by the raging sea (it's more convincing than in Perret's earlier effort " Le Mystere Des Roches De Kador",though the barque is not shown upon the waves ).

-The final scene ,filmed on location on a peaceful evening by the sea: Paimpol offers a puff from his pipe ,but the young boy,remembering the cigarettes, decidedly refuses.

A melodrama in four parts, it's very good storytelling ,well played (particularly the actor who plays Werb gives a masterful performance and the child actor rises to the occasion too)


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