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Festival Year Festival Section

Alternative Title 1
Alternative Title 2
Alternative Title 3
Country France
Release Date 5 May 1922
Production Co. Ermolieff-Cinéma
Director Viatcheslav Tourjansky

Format   Speed (fps)
35mm   18
Footage   Time
1581 m.   76'

Archive Source Cinémathèque française, Paris
Print Notes col. (imbibito/ tinted)
Didascalie in francese / French intertitles.

Nathalie Kovanko (Louise Monet), André Nox (Mr. Monet), Madame Joujakoff (Jeanne Dartois), Gaston Rieffler (Maurice Dartois), Huguette Delacroix (mother of Monet), René Hiéronimus (Léo), Paul Jorge (Father Caleb), Jean-Paul de Baër (Little Paul)
Other Credits
scen:; scen: Ivan Mosjoukine; f./ph: [Joseph-Louis Mundviller]; scg./des: Alexandre Lochakofff./ph: Fédote Bourgassoff, Louis Chaix; scg./des: Alexandre Lochakoff; riprese/filmed: Studio de Montreuil
Other Information
Program Notes
Tourjansky followed the spectacular Les Contes des mille et une nuits with a production in striking contrast, mostly shot in two domestic interiors – stylishly decorated, certainly, by Lochakov to reflect the character of their owners. Tourjansky’s own script involved a melodrama of marital infidelity, violent death, and an innocent charged with murder, that smacked of Russian productions of the 1910s. There is some originality in the character of the truly evil wife (“the bad genius of the household”, declares a title) and in the cheerful disregard of the usual obligatory retribution even for a justified killing. The principal novelty of the film, however, is the use of a familiar piece of music as a continuing – and finally crucial – plot motive. Obviously the consequent dependence on the exhibitor’s provision of musical accompaniment had its hazards. Writing of the premiere performance, the correspondent of Cinémagazine (5 May 1922) complained, “Inevitably, having read the title on the programme, I had hoped to be able to regale my ear with some work of the master, executed during the screening of the film. Not at all! The orchestra played us all its repertoire of modern airs, even a langorous waltz … Bizarre!”
Not over-impressed, the same critic goes on satirically to recount the story of the film, ending with pretended anxiety that the hero Monsieur Monet, having been betrayed by one young wife, impetuously takes on another in succession; but, “Don’t worry, all ends well. The truth is revealed, thanks to the 15th Prelude of Chopin … He is wrong, this poor man who has already made the mistake once, to try the experiment again! This Jeanne also is much younger than he is! But I recognize that she might fall hard for this Monet, who is played by André Nox. He’s a good-looking fellow, Nox: he has to please and he pleases … What complications in this film!”
This was the last Ermolieff-Cinéma production: at the end of 1922, starting with Nuit de carnaval and the serial La Maison du mystère, the name of the company was changed to Albatros.
The film was restored in 1987 from an original nitrate negative acquired by the Cinémathèque française in 1958. The original tinting was reproduced in 2009, thanks to a nitrate German exhibition print of the period deposited with the Cinémathèque française in 1950 by the producer Alexander Kamenka. – DAVID ROBINSON