9 May 2009 | boblipton
This late silent film by Duvivier is a well enough told story, but nothing remarkable. There is none of the brilliance that would regularly infuse his works from 1930. One looks for poetic realism in Duvivier's work, for evil women -- consider the unspeakable mother in 1926's POILE DE CARROTE. However, there is none of that here, merely a well-told story of a woman who thinks she prefers a life of glory on stage in Paris to life with her Scottish lord of a husband in his castle.
The story is fine, the actors are okay, but it's all been done many other times, and my attention began to wander. I imagined that the cad who tries to seduce her looked like Dick Smothers and the actor on stage with her in the finale was an incredibly young William Bendix dressed as he would be in 1949's CONNECTICUTT YANKEE. Obviously, both are highly unlikely.
There is a nice attempt at a new-to-me technique, what looks like a cut by switching the image into a mirror and back again. I'm not sure what this was intended to accomplish, but perhaps they thought it would indicate not just a visual but emotional change of perspective to the audience. Otherwise, Duvivier plays a lot with the optical printer as he would continue to for the next half-dozen years.