Monday, October 06, 2008

La Faute d'orthographe

FR 1919. PC: Gaumont. D+SC: Jacques Feyder; AD: Robert-Jules Garnier; ; cast: Charles Deschamps (Paul Huet), Marcel Vallée (burglar), Georges Mauloy (general manager), Charles Barrois (inspector), Gaston Dupray (guardian?), Fernand Ledoux (a plainclothes policeman), Fabien Haziza (messenger boy); 511 m /18 fps/ 25 min’; print: Archives Gaumont-Pathé. Original in French with e-subtitles in English and Italian, grand piano: Donald Sosin. Viewed at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, 6 October 2008. - Print ok, sometimes slightly high contrast or low contrast. - Lenny Borger: "Feyder returned briefly to Gaumont in 1919 after having served in a Belgian army theatrical troupe in the last months of the war. He sold the studio one last script entitled La Faute d’orthographe, a delightful short about a job candidate who, fearing he’s misspelled a word on his application, sneaks back into the company offices after hours to correct it – only to get himself arrested. But his job is saved by an educated burglar who had broken in the same night and obligingly made the corrections for him. Judged too eccentric by the conventional Gaumont, the film was Feyder’s last at the famous studio. Said one historian: “By dismissing an artisan, Léon Gaumont furthered the birth of a great film artist...” – Lenny Borger. - A witty mini thriller, where the the aspiring job applicant's desperate attempt at correcting his error is mixed up with stylish burglary. - Pretty funny, with original jokes about orthography. - "Ill gotten gains seldom prosper." - "Like all great criminals, you put your signature on the crime".

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