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Archive for January 20th, 2013

MISERABLES 1925

by Allan Fish

(France 1925 160m (orig.369m)) not on DVD

A great imagist with words

p  Louis Nalpas, Jean Sapene, Henri Fescourt  d  Henri Fescourt  w  Arthur Bernède, Henri Fescourt  novel  Victor Hugo  ph  Raoul Aubourdier, Léon Donnot, George Lafont, Karémine Mérobian  ed  Jean-Louis Bouquet  art  Mme Castiaux, Louis Nalpas  cos  Mme Castiaux

Gabriel Gabrio (Jean Valjean), Jean Toulout (Javért), Paul Jorge (Monsigneur Myriel), Sandra Milovanoff (Fantine/Cosette), Andrée Rolane (Cosette as a child), Georges Saillard (Thénardier), Charles Badiole (Gavroche), François Rozet (Marius), Suzanne Nivette (Éponine), Henri Maillard (Gillenormand), Clara Darcey-Roche (Mlle.Baptistine), Paul Guide (Enjolras), Renée Carl (Mme.Thénardier), Victor Dujeu (Fauchelevent), Jeanne Marie-Laurent (Mme.Magloire), Luc Dartagnan (Pontmercy), Émilien Richard (Barnatabois),

It wasn’t the earliest version of Victor Hugo’s tale.  There had been a 1912 version by Alberto Cappellani which, despite only being two hours long and little more than a series of tableaux, was feted in its time.  But it’s Fescourt’s version which was adopted as the benchmark by French film historians.  Georges Sadoul was one of many who compared it favourably with the Raymond Bernard masterpiece on the succeeding page.  There was just one problem; it has never been released for home viewing even in its native France, and the only version circulating on the internet, and thus the only one I have seen as I write in January 2013, is a 160m version prepared for American audiences.  Originally, it ran for over six hours and was in four parts.  One may be forgiven for thinking of it with the same sense of loss as one thinks of certain films by Von Stroheim and Welles, but Fescourt’s full film isn’t lost.  The Forum des Images in Paris has a copy, and for several years there have been rumours that Pathé (the original makers of the film) and Gaumont were teaming up to restore the film for DVD.  We’re still waiting, but even in this mutilated state, it’s still an hour longer than the best Hollywood version from 1935. (more…)

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1974

by Allan Fish

Best Picture The Godfather Part Two, US (13 votes)

Best Director Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather Part Two (10 votes)

Best Actor Gene Hackman, The Conversation (8 votes)

Best Actress Gena Rowlands, A Woman Under the Influence (10 votes)

Best Supp Actor Robert de Niro, The Godfather Part Two (9 votes)

Best Supp Actress Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles (8 votes)

Best Cinematography Gordon Willis, The Godfather Part Two (6 votes)

Best Score Jerry Goldsmith, Chinatown (7 votes)

Best Short Closed Mondays, US (2 votes)

(more…)

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