La bergère d'Ivry (1913) Poster

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Good shepherd girl
dbdumonteil21 April 2008
It must be the oldest movie I have ever reviewed.A silent short (less than 30 minutes) ,it's one of Maurice Tourneur's first works.

This is the story of a good little shepherd girl .Her master's wife has a love affair with the local aristocrat .The jealous husband bursts in the castle .But the young heroine tells him that in fact she is the count's mistress.The poor girl is thrown out of the house and his fiancé wants to kill her.

Acting,particularly female acting is a bit ridiculous: down on their knees,with their hands together,imploring,etc ,as such was often the case in the silent era.

A good idea in the screenplay: the heroine buys a knife at the fair and tells her squeeze: "if I'm not faithful,do not be afraid to kill me!" No less.
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Sheep's Eyes May Safely Glaze
writers_reign9 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
There probably aren't too many films from 1913 floating around and the chances of comparable vintage by genuine talents is even more remote which makes this early film from Maurice Tourneur well worth seeking out. In the nothing-new-under-the-sun department the shots of the girl surrounded by goats would be replicated more than half a century later in Manon des source but Tourneur displays a deft touch throughout in terms of composition and for a lot of the time he is able to extract 'natural' performances although the tendency to 'emote' is never quite curbed. The story is mild melodrama; the wife of the postmaster succumbs to the charms of the local squire, not the wisest thing with a jealous husband but the local shepherdess steps in to shoulder the blame. Hokey, maybe, but it was 1913.
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Early Example Of Herr Tourneur's Carefully Artistic Expertness And Merits
"La Bergère d'Ivry" was a silent work for "Éclair" films produced in 1913 and an excellent early oeuvre ( it is considered the earliest film that has survived of Tourneur career ). The film tells the story of Dame Aimée ( Dame Renée Sylvaire ), a young shepherdess who is taken under the of Dame Hortense ( Dame Paulette Noizeux ), the wife of a village postmaster who accepts the love propositions of the Comte de Granval ( Henry Roussel). This is a very complicated subject because Aimée knows very well that Dame Hortense's husband is a very jealous man. If he finds out he will not like such flirting, so in order to prevent a catastrophe, Dame Aimée will try to avoid such situation.

This short film is an early example of Herr Tourneur's carefully artistic expertness and merits. The film has an excellent set design with bucolic and realistic outdoor sceneries in what it might be considered a mixture of film d'Art and naturalism film with the right doses of drama.

The film narrative of "La Bergère d'Ivry" is concise but direct and in spite of that the film is basically filmed with a static camera. Herr Tourneur knows very well how to profit from such a limited technical aspect ( on the other hand, a common practice in such early silent film productions ). This happens with a decisive shot in where the love misunderstandings and a threatening drama are solved by the gathering of the main characters in the same scene and a slightly enlarged shot to develop the crucial situations of the different characters as performed those by restrained actors (while showing emotions in a very conceivable way).

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must find some more lost films in the Schloss cellar.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien
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