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La cigarette (1919)
Jealousy and Innocence
This film was aired on TCM in December 2020 as part of the Women Make Film lineup, as the director is a woman. I mostly enjoyed the film, but was distracted by the amount of damage that obscured the action, and the title cards, which were extensive and long, as well as all in French. I got the general idea of the plot, but missed out on the finer details, such as what the Egyptian mummy he brings home and puts in the bedroom has to do with anything. The variety of tinting was very nice, the parts of the film that were not damaged were very fine.
The story is engrossing, what I could gather from the action, not being able to read the title cards. The older husband is very busy with his Egyptian relics, and doesn't find time to spend with his younger wife, though the scenes with them together tend to show great affection between the two. We see her wandering around the house and grounds after being rebuffed by her distracted husband, which leads her to amuse herself outside of the house. She is flirted with by a young and handsome golf pro, but it never goes any further. However, her husband does find enough time to follow her around and he sees something that he mistook as what appeared to be a clandestine meeting between his wife and the golfer. Deciding to kill himself by mixing a poisoned cigarette in his full box to make death random, we see a servant sneak a smoke, and various other people, including his wife, try to take a cigarette out of the box which he vigorously prevents. All works out in an unusual way in the end. If you can read French, I would recommend this movie, otherwise, it may be tedious for some to figure out what's going on.
The 39 Steps (1935)
Nothing Like the Excellent Book
This movie is supposed to be based on the book The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. I have never seen a movie based on a book that was so far removed from the source material, the only similarities appear to be the title and the main character's name. Read the book, it is amazing.