Archive for February 7th, 2010


by Allan Fish

(France 1928 157m) DVD2 (France/Germany only)

Aka. Verdun, visions d’histoire; Verdun, Visions of History

Ils ne passerant pas

p  Leon Poirier  d/w  Leon Poirier  ph  Robert Matton, Georges Million  m  André Petiot  spc  W.Percy Day

Albert Préjean (French soldier), Jeanne Marie-Laurent (his mother), Suzanne Bianchetti (his wife), Hans Brausewetter (German soldier), Antonin Artaud (the intellectual), Maurice Schutz (The Old Marshal of the Kaiser), Pierre Nay (the son), Thomy Bourdelle (German Officer), André Nox (the chaplain), Berthe Jalabert,

Watching Leon Poirier’s account of the infamous battle of the First World War recalled to mind a friend who, having visited the abandoned, preserved trenches along the western front, told me how eerie the experience was.  Imagine then how courageous it must have been for the real-life veterans to return but a decade later to the location to help create this once lost masterwork of French silent cinema.  You won’t find it listed in any film guide, and it was almost out of the blue when a DVD release (of a restoration made from a print stolen by the Nazis and then found abandoned in Moscow) was announced in France and Germany – with English subtitles, thankfully – and gobbled up by eager beaver film fans.  (more…)

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