Marcel L’Herbier

Marcel L’Herbier – Rose-France (1918)

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A few months later, (L’Herbier) directed Rose-France, an excessive and disturbing poem, filmed in the form of a weird symbolist collage. In this movie he started to experiment with special effects and celebrated the young actor Jaque Catelain, an expressive beauty, a true Dorian Gray, whose presence would mark almost all of his silent films. His mastery of the medium earned him a two-year contract at the Gaumont Film Company. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – Le Bercail (1919)

Adapted from Bernstein’s Le Bercail, the film follows Evelyne’s attempt to reconnect with her family after a traumatizing experience with a young writer.

Evelyne Landry, intellectuelle et passionnée, a épousé un homme bon et droit, mais fermé à tout ce qui intéresse la jeune femme. Jacques, écrivain secondaire et arriviste, la persuade de son amour. Elle s’enfuit avec lui abandonnant mari et enfant. Sa liaison ne lui apporte que déception, elle rompt avec Jacques et, repentante, demande son pardon à Etienne Landry qui finit par le lui accorder. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – L’affaire du collier de la reine AKA Queen’s Necklace (1946)

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One of the most expensive French films of the immediate postwar years, L’Affaire du Collier de la Reine is primarily a vehicle for the formidable Vivian Romance. The star plays an aristocrat in the court of Louis XVI, who helps engineer a scheme to divest the Queen of her royal necklace. On the verge of success, the “heroine” is found out, and forced to submit to whipping and torture. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – Le vertige (1926)

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Based on a play by Charles Méré, the 1926 French production Le Vertige was released in the U.S. two years later as “The Living Image”, or “The Lady of Petrograd”. The film opens with the overthrow of the Czar during the 1917 Russian revolution. The family of General Count Svirsky (Roger Karl) cower in their home, certain that the mobs of angry peasants will tear them apart. But even in this moment of crisis, Svirsky can find time to murder the young officer who has been having an affair with Countess Svirska (Emmy Lynn). The Countess knows what has happened, but she loyally remains with her husband as they escape to the safety of the French Riviera. It is here that the Countess meets Henri de Cassel (Jaque Catelain), the “living image” of her dead lover. Once again, the General prepares to shoot the Countess’ paramour in cold blood — but this time, the outcome is quite different.From Hal Erickson Read More »