(Albert Capellani, 1912, France, 147m, BW)
Les misérables (1912)
AKA Les Misérables - Époque 1: Jean Valjean
Released 1912 (original release year) Release Dates - IMDB
Director Albert Capellani
Starring Henry Krauss, Henri Étiévant, Maria Ventura, Mistinguett
Genres Drama / Period Film
Language French (Silent)
Duration 2h 43 min
Societe des Auteurs et Gens des Lettres. Story of a former galley slave who becomes a merchant. From the novel by Victor Hugo.
M. De Gravone
Cosette as child
Albert Capellani (1874 – 1931) was a French film director and screenwriter of the silent era. He directed films between 1905 and 1922.Starting his career as an actor, he worked with the director André Antoine at the Théâtre Libre and the Odéon. He then began directing plays for the Odéon, working alongside the lauded actor and director Firmin Gémier.In 1903, he became the head of the Alhambra music hall in Paris.He continued to work as an actor and director until he received a job offer from the Pathé Frères studio in 1905.Charles Pathé, who held high hopes for the artistic potential of film as a medium, invited him to join the artistic staff under the direction of Ferdinand Zecca. When Pathé in 1908 launched a "prestige" production unit,the Société des Auteurs et des Gens de Lettres,Capellani became its first artistic director. During his Pathé career, he worked as an adviser and supervisor to various directors. He often drew upon his theatrical background to cast stage actor colleagues for his films, such as Henry Krauss, who appeared as Quasimodo in his The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1911) and as Jean Valjean in his Les Misérables (1912).
Les Misérables also gave the actress Mistinguett her first important screen role.His films cover many genres, including melodramas, fairy tales, costume dramas with historical and biblical themes, and literary adaptations, especially after taking up directorship of SCAGL in 1908. Characteristics of his style include a keen sense for staging actors in three-dimensional space, dynamic use of location filming, and an attention to subtle, realistic details that highlight the humanity of his characters.In 1915, he moved to the United States and worked for the film studios Pathé Exchange, Metro Pictures Corporation, the World Film Company, Cosmopolitan Productions, Nazimova Productions, and his own newly created studio, Capellani Productions, Inc. Under his direction, Alla Nazimova rose to prominence as one of the greatest silent film stars in Hollywood.Capellani returned to France in 1923, where he floated several new film projects but was unable to bring any to fruition He died of diabetes in 1931.
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