4 June 2019 | boblipton
A Practical Joke On Brother
While Georges Tréville is in Algeria, attending the confirmation of his god daughter Mignon, his dissolute younger brother, Jean Toulout steals a letter to his wife and has a friendly forger write one that will convince the woman that her husband is in Paris with a mistress. She leaves, never to be heard again.
It's just the sort of practical jokes that brothers play on each other. Fifteen years go by and Tréville's god daughter shows up. Her vivacity brings him back to life, and a young man asks for her hand, which is granted if he gets a position -- here's a letter to my buddy, the Spanish consul. Yet all is not smooth sailing, because an evil Arab who wears a Persian carpet shows up, offers Toulout money to get Mignon. Seeing a chance to make a fortune, Toulout agrees, has his brother killed and steals the testament leaving everything to the girl. With her now his ward, Toulout thinks he's in the catbird seat, but a mysterious Moor is on hand to safeguard the girl. Can he save her?
It's a short, melodramatic feature, full of wildly gesticulating actors, titles that describe what the audience is about to see, and the usual unprefigured accidents to clean up any loose plot ends. It is, in short, tripe, and not even very good tripe. In the midst of World War One, it must have been a relief for French audiences to watch this instead of some newsreel about a battle that killed hundreds of thousands of young men without changing the battle lines more than a meter.