Heart and the Money (1912)
Alternate Title: Le Couer et l’argent
Tonight’s movie by Louis Feuillade is a foray into tragic melodrama. A pair of young lovers on a boat is separated by the girl’s mother (the ubiquitous Renée Carl, who was in “Fantomas” and “The Defect”). Mom has plans for her child, Suzanne: she hooks her up with a local wealthy land-owner, portrayed by a rotund Paul Manson (also in “The Trust” and a number of Feuillade’s popular Bébé films). Soon, she is more or less hijacked into marriage by the schemers, and is driven off to his estate in a motorcar, despite the protestations of her jilted boyfriend. When the husband conveniently dies, he has his revenge by stipulating in his will that his widow receives nothing if she remarries. Undaunted, she sneaks past her mother and back to her lover, but he won’t have her, haunted as he is by images of her with the fat man. Poor Suzanne comes to a tragic end, as befits tragedy. It’s all pretty typical stuff, which I can’t help but compare unfavorably to work Evgeni Bauer would be producing just a year later, but not too bad I guess. The casting choice also disappointed me: Why make it a fat, older man? Wouldn’t Suzanne be more heroic if she spurned the love of an attractive, rich man who just happened not to be the man she loved? As it is, it seems like she likes the handsome guy because, well, he’s handsome.
Director: Louis Feuillade
Starring: Suzanne Grandais, Renée Carl, Paul Manson
Run Time: 17 Min, 50 secs
You can watch it for free: here.