Archive for March 12th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(France 1928 156m) DVD2

Aka. Money

A dash of sauce Lindbergh          

p  Jean Sapene  d  Marcel l’Herbier  w  Marcel l’Herbier, Arthur Bernède  novel  Emile Zola  ph  Jules Kruger, Louis Berte, Jean Letort  ed  Marcel l’Herbier  art  Lazare Meerson, André Barsacq  cos  Jacques Manuel

Brigitte Helm (Baroness Sandorf), Marie Glory (Line Hamelin), Yvette Guilbert (La Méchain), Pierre Alcover (Nicolas Saccard), Alfred Abel (Alphonse Gunderman), Henry Victor (Jacques Hamelin), Pierre Juvenet (Baron Defrance), Antonin Artaud (Mazaud), Jules Berry (Huret), Raymond Rouleau (Jantron), Armand Bour (Daigremont),

Such did Marie Glory describe the special ingredient to Marcel l’Herbier’s legendary late silent, and there is indeed a distinct feel of the left over euphoria from Charles Lindbergh’s famous Trans-Atlantic crossing.  What is perhaps most ironic is that not only does his film take an unwieldy novel and update it to the present, he also presents a film that would prove all the more potent a year later, when the Wall Street Crash banished forever the world l’Herbier preserved in cinematic aspic. 

            The film concerns the business rivalry of Alphonse Gunderman and Nicolas Saccard.  The latter tries to finance his plans by means of a publicity stunt to send share prices rocketing, in which he persuades pilot Jacques Hamelin to fly to Guyana to help their oil interests, much to the pain of Hamelin’s wife, Line, who Saccard has sexual designs on and, when Hamelin’s plane is reported crashed into the ocean in flames, he makes his move on her, to the chagrin of his mistress Baroness Sandorf.  (more…)

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