Monday, 3 January 2011

Glory be! L'Herbier's L'Argent

Mary Glory was one of the stars of L'Argent, a French silent film directed in 1928 by Marcel L'Herbier.

The film is a wonder, notable for the use of ground-breaking camera mobility, "poetic montage" and with a great cast including Pierre Alcover as the banker Saccard, Alfred Abel as his calculating rival and Brigitte Helm, in no way typecast, as the scheming baroness Sandorf. Henry Victor plays as the idealistic aviator Jacques Hamelin and Ms Glory his equally hopeful wife, Line, who has to endure no end of heartache as her brave husband risks life, limb and liquidity.

Based on the novel by Zola, the financial turbulence of the Third Republic found new relevance in the 20's and is no less pertinent today. "I want to put an end to the dangerous speculation..." says Gunderman. So say we all.

Mary Glory passed away in early 2009, 103 years old and one of the last silent actresses. She is excellent in L'Argent and one of the highlights of this remarkable film.

The Eureka DVD features a stunning "making of" feature entitled Autour de L'Argent made at the time by L'Herbier with Jean Dreville, then a 22-year old journalist and amateur photographer. This was itself an exercise in montage, capturing the atmosphere and providing a rare glimpse behind the silent scenes...if ever the past came rushing into the present...

Well worth votre l'argent! Buy it from Amazon, you won't regret it!

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