Illegitimate Child (1930)

  |  Drama

The illegitimate son of a music hall star and an ambitious politician has grown up to become a journalist.He decides to get back at his father by using blackmail.


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18 June 2006 | dbdumonteil
| Awful melodrama.
This is the first talkie by Lherbier and it has not aged well.Just coming out of the silent era,the cinema was still "filmed stage production " style.

A woman (I will not mention the name of the actress) has an illegal son;she used to be a music hall artist (les Folies Bergères) and she has had a lover (a politician) for many years.Now the child has become a young man and the politician's career is buoyant:he is to become a secretary (minister).This nasty man is sick and tired of his lover's friends (there is some excuse:they are unbearable;among them ,Michel Simon in a cameo).The lady's son ,who is a journalist decides to blackmail the reluctant father-in-law.

When you remember what the Americans did at the time (the sensational "only yesterday' by Stahl,for instance) ,the French attempt is dismal.Performances are laughable ,worthy of a middle-brow show,script is inept:for instance,the hero grows up overnight from a poor brat his mother leaves home to a young dashing reporter.The scene when the mother tells her boy she was ditched -and with a six-figure check at that ,like a hooker!- is unintentionally funny as the actress complains "I'm suffering! I'm so suffering!How could he do this to me?" Stupid ending,which all melodrama lovers will dislike (and I'm part of them).

Awful melodrama.

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Release Date:

3 February 1930



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