The Citadel of Silence (1937)

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The Citadel of Silence (1937) Poster

.During he students ' rebellion against Nicholas the Second,Viana tries to kill the governor but it's her lover who is arrested and sent to a sinister fortress .


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15 August 2008 | dbdumonteil
L'Herbier's first part of a Russian trilogy
Like many French directors of the thirties ,he had a fixation on Russia :"La Citadelle Du Silence" was followed by "Nuits de Feu" the same year then by "La Tragédie Imperiale" (1938) which dealt with the end of the Romanov.

Although very prolific (3 movies in 1937,the third is "Forfaiture", a remake of De Mille's work ),L'Herbier was a spent force in a world now dominated by Jean Renoir,Julien Duvivier and Marcel Carné .His heyday was the twenties ("l'Inhumaine" "Feu Mathias Pascal" ,probably his masterpiece)and although he occasionally came up with good movies ("Le Mystere De La Chambre Jaune" and its follow-up,"le Bonheur" or "La Nuit Fantastique" ) ,the largest part of his oeuvre consists of old-fashioned melodramas .

"La Citadelle du Silence" features a vague historical background.THe students ' rebellion against Nicholas the Second.Viana tries to kill the governor but it's her lover who is arrested and sent to a sinister fortress :hence the title.Presto!Vania marries the officer who commands the place.There the convicts have really a bad time,but Vania manages to communicate with the dear prisoner..But beware of informers...

Annabella and Pierre Renoir do their best but they cannot transcend the academic directing.Here and there ,a good scene which shows L'Herbier is still capable of beautiful things: the graveyard where Annabella is looking for a cross she hopes she will not find;the convicts in the church,refusing to sing a canticle and breaking into a song of liberty...

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Release Date:

24 December 1939



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