1921-1930Alfred MachinFranceHenry WulschlegerHorrorSilent

Alfred Machin & Henry Wulschleger – Le manoir de la peur AKA The Manor House of Fear (1924)


Since a mysterious stranger and his servant settled in a manor near a Provençal village, a wave of crimes has beenfall the country and spread terror among the inhabitants. Young Jean Lormeau, refusing to give in to fear, leaves to meet the disturbing owner to discover his secret.

The restoration of the original negative belonging to the CNC made it possible to print a silver copy, itself digitized. The version presented offers original music by François Puyalto, arranged and performed by Tarik Chaouach, Rafaël Koerner and François Puyalto, produced in 2012 by the Anères festival and recorded live at 3 Cinés Robespierre in Vitry-sur-Seine. Thanks to Sylvain Airault and the Anères festival.


L’Homme noir is the first fantastic film directed by Alfred Machin in his studio in Nice, after a series of comedies, dramas and satires which met with great success, in particular thanks to the presence on the screen of the animals which have surrounded since his two stays in Africa in 1908 and 1910. Thus, we find, after L’Énigme du Mont-Agel (1924) and Les Héritiers de uncle James(1924), Auguste the chimpanzee which this time takes on a disturbing role. In the village of Gattières, twenty kilometers north of Nice, he finds austere façades, narrow and winding streets which allow him to create a strange atmosphere, reinforced by the use of artificial lighting, innovative at the time. . Romuald Joubé, draped in a large cape, under a large black hat, camps a romantic character with a worried soul. Add a mansion standing out against a tortured sky which is accessed by crossing an abandoned cemetery, distorted interior decorations captured through unusual perspectives and you are, not in a German expressionist film, but in an innovative French work. Too much, certainly, for the critics and the public of the time, who weren’t expecting to meet Alfred Machin on this strange and fantastic terrain little surveyed by French directors. The film also struggled to find a distributor. It was in 1927, almost three years after its realization, that Universal, an American company which then watered the popular theaters of action films andserials , releases the film renamed The Manor of Fear. Skillful creator of atmospheres, Alfred Machin also knows how to stage spectacular sequences like that of the accident of a train on a viaduct which precipitates him at the bottom of a ravine in the explosion of the boiler of the locomotive. Shot at night, this episode certainly owes a lot to the memories of the director, who was one of the witnesses of the Saujon disaster in 1910. That evening, Machin takes place in Bordeaux on the train which must take him back to Paris, and derailed. Unharmed, Machin rescues the many injured until the arrival of the rescuers. He then grabs his camera and turns. This made a good sequence for the Pathé-Journal, of which he was then one of the operators. And, some fifteen years later, an anthology scene in one of the first French fantasy films,

Beatrice de Pastre

2.33GB | 1h 17mn | 1920×1080 | mkv



Language(s):French intertitles

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