1913 movie by Albert Capellani

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Trompe-la-Mort
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1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:40 pm

Those of you who know the 1995 “Les misérables du 20e siècle”, do you remember that one scene rather early in the movie were little Henri Fortin watches his first Les misérables movie? It’s at the inn his mother goes to work after the arrest of his father and little Henri hides behind the screen so he doesn't have to work and can watch the movie. The part of the movie we see shows Valjean carefully extracting a little saw out of a sou coin and starting to file through his chain. Have you ever wondered what movie that is from? Well, I have. And now I know. This one (which adds another point to the long list of anachronisms in the 1995 movie, but I’m not here to bash that movie).

So yes, at the Forum des images (details about that in the 1925 movie thread), La Saboteuse and me also saw the 1913 movie. Or rather the 1912 movie. That’s at least the year on the title screen. And the first thing that this movie makes me wonder is: Were dialogue intertitles not yet invented in 1912? Because this movie doesn’t have a single one. There are title cards that explain what happens in the following scene. If there should be dialogue, characters typically write each other letters. For example, Marius writes a letter to M Gillenormand about wanting to marry. Gillenormand sits down to write back. Marius arrives in person. Gillenormand just gives him the letter to read, thereby also making it visible to the audience. Was that a thing at the time? Is it the director?

The movie is rather heavily cut and treads carefully around the more delicate subjects (prostitution, child abuse etc.). There’s not a single actor who’s standing out. Valjean has a few cool expressions, Marius apparently looks like Michael Cera (says La Saboteuse, I don’t know the guy) and reminds me of Michael Ball and Javert is so incredibly over the top it’s painful. And he wears a really, really stupid wig. See here: http://www.allposters.de/-sp/Henri-Etie ... 44768_.htm
This movie is not as remarkable as the other (1925) we saw and pales in direct comparison (and comparison is going to happen if you watch them on consecutive days). It has a few nice scenes, but the heavy cuts and lack of (written) dialogue are only annoying. It’s even worse for somebody who knows the book, because several scenes get set up and then don’t actually happen. Valjean escaping from Toulon made me think we were going to get a detailed account of his time in Toulon – but no, he just manages to escape! After two years of his 5-year-sentence. It makes the character much less tragic and when he is turned from every inn in Digne, my only thought is that he’s still lucky nobody called the police. Later in the movie, Valjean and Cosette arrive to give money to the Jondrettes. Marius sees Cosette, asks Éponine to find her, before returning to his room – which is when the movie cuts to a different scene. They set up the guet-apens only for it to not actually happen. Another one: After Fantine has sold her hair, a couple of women start making fun of her new haircut. A fight breaks out and Javert arrests Fantine there and then.

This is also no movie for Amis-fans. If I remember correctly, not even Enjolras is named and the barricade scenes are really short.

All in all, it’s interesting to see, but more for collectors or people interested in old movies, not necessarily as a Les Mis adaptation.

Again, if there are questions, feel free to ask.
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Ulkis
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Ulkis » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:06 pm

Thanks for the write-up! I'm not sure about the dialogue intertitles, but I'll ask someone who should know. My own guess is that it was a directorial choice but I'm not sure.

What Éponine scenes were included? I'm curious because the Éponine actress was pretty famous in her day.

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:34 pm

Éponine scenes... the problem is that I stopped taking notes about halfway through the movie, so the later part is memory only. She definitely appears in the Gorbeau house, but only so Marius can ask her to find Cosette's address for him. I think the scene before got cut, but I'm honestly not so certain anymore. And then she gets to deliver the letter and die at the barricades saving Marius (from a bayonet).
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Ulkis » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:27 am

Thanks!

I wish I could see the Javert just for laughs; the poster who reviewed the 1912 film at dvdclassik said the same thing about him being ridiculous. Something about making windmills with his arms all the time, hee.

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:10 am

I wouldn't have called it windmills, but, yes, there was quite some excessive gesturing from Javert... If I ever learn about another source for this movie, I'll be sure to tell you.
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Ulkis » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:06 am

thanks. There was a box set of Capellani films (in Italy I think) recently so I'm hoping they'll have another one eventually.

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:41 am

Yeah, I saw that one, too. I must have read the list of included movies ten times before accepting it didn't include this one... *Sob*...
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Lugitum
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Lugitum » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:15 am

The 1913 version is available to watch in Paris at the Forum Des Images. If you are extremely rich, you can also purchase it from here (in full?):
http://www.gaumontpathearchives.com/ind ... &langue=EN
Here are the prices:
http://www.gaumontpathearchives.com/med ... rifsVA.pdf

The film has four parts, and in a user review for the second part, IMDB user "Spent Bullets" says that the film is five hours long. Is here correct? How can we find out?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0003159/rev ... _=tt_ov_rt

humanracer
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby humanracer » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:50 pm

You can watch it online. Just sign up on the website and wait for your account to be confirmed. It is the non restored version and it plays too fast.

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Lugitum » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:32 am

Thanks, but which website? Are you sure you don't mean the 1925 French film? Please give me more details. I can't find the 1913 movie viewable online on these two sites so far:
www.forumdesimages.fr
www.gaumontpathearchives.com


Lugitum
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Lugitum » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:42 am

Thanks, I did this:
http://www.gaumontpathearchives.com/index.php
First I went to that url, and then I clicked on the button on the top right that says "Version Francaise". Then in the search box that says "Titre" I typed in Les Misérables and pressed enter. For some reason when you search using the English website, there are no results for Les Misérables, which is why I had to search using the French website.

There are five results. I see the 1913 film in four parts, plus another result for the 1913 film (not sure what that last result is). I have signed up but can't log in. I have requested my password through email as well and I was sent it, so I verified that yes, I am in the system. But I think I have to wait until I am fully approved. When I attempt to log in it says either "Your inscription is nowadays valid" or "Votre incription est bien enregistrée.", and I can't log in.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C ... film,_1913)
The France Wikipedia article for it says 2 hours and 43 minutes. On the archives site the four main parts have lengths of 28:42 and 27:57 and 25:38 and 38:42, for a total length of 2:00:59. Also there is a fifth result for the film, which seems different and shows a length of 1:22:00. Please answer a few questions, and if you know of more rare adaptations that are available that I don't have in good quality please let me know.

1. How long do I have to wait to be approved?
2. What is the length of the film?
3. What is that fifth result that shows a length of 1:22:00

humanracer
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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby humanracer » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:57 am

Wait a day and if nothing email abertola@gaumontpathearchives.com and politely ask for access. Let them know you are researching adaptations.

The film was 12 reels so should be more than two hours. The version here may be an abridged version for the international market.

The 1:22 is the total length because the film plays too fast.

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Msieur le Inspecteur » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:30 pm

Lugitum wrote:Thanks, but which website? Are you sure you don't mean the 1925 French film? Please give me more details. I can't find the 1913 movie viewable online on these two sites so far:

What do you mean by "Are you sure you don't mean the 1925 French film?"
Is THAT one viewable online anywhere?

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Re: 1913 movie by Albert Capellani

Postby Ulkis » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:45 am

Jumping in, but the screen cap is definitely not from the 1925 film, so Lugitum, I think that humanracer definitely viewed the 1913 version.

And humanracer, the 1925 version is available in a truncated bootleg form. If you google it a seller or two should pop up.


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