The House of Mystery (La Maison du mystère)
3-Disc DVD Edition

The House of Mystery (La Maison du mystère)

Director: Alexandre Volkoff
Actors: Ivan Mosjoukine, Charles Vanel, Helene Darly
Format: NTSC
Language: French
Subtitles: English
Region: All Region
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Discs: 3 DVD
Year: 1921-1923
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Flicker Alley
Run Time: 383 minutes

UPC: 617311678196
ISBN: 1-893967-81-6




Serial films, or ciné romans were well-established in France before World War I, where they are most closely identified with writer-director Louis Feuillade. These melodramas for adult audiences were unlike American serials that were targeted primarily at youngsters. At Albatros, Russian émigré producer Joseph Ermolieff produced three serials in 1921, all adapted from roman-feuilletons by the phenomenally successful Jules Mary, a specialist in the genre, who penned many a famous melodrama around the theme of the miscarriage of justice - a theme that must have had special appeal for the unjustly displaced technicians and artists of Ermolieff's Moscow and Yalta studios.

Available: April 7, 2015

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On DVD for the 1st time in this 3-Disc DVD Edition!

The first two serials have not left a trace in the annals of film archives. But The House of Mystery (La Maison du mystère), Ermolieff's third serial, (begun in the summer of 1921 and not completed until 1923) by Alexandre Volkoff (with fellow studio director Viatcheslav Tourjansky providing some important and uncredited second-unit work), is a triumph of the genre and a complete delight that not only survived, but also was restored in its original ten-episode format by the Cinematheque Francaise. Flicker Alley and the Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to present for the first time on DVD this six-and-a-half-hour epic of stylish elegance and narrative imagination, with optional English subtitles by Lenny Borger and a brand-new score by composer Neil Brand.

The involved plot of La Maison du mystère centers around Julien Villandrit (Ivan Mosjoukine) and his star-crossed courtship to Régine de Bettigny (Hélène Darly), that inspires bitterness and jealousy in Henri Corradin (Charles Vanel), Julien's long-time associate and secret rival in love. For Mosjoukine, who contracted typhoid fever during the course of production, it remains one of the ultimate consecrations to his multifarious talents as actor, writer, and even make-up artist. But the film also opened doors for Vanel (Les Misérables, The Wages of Fear, Diabolique) who gives the "Curses! Foiled again!" school of melodramatic villainy a new lease on life), and the astonishing Nicolas Koline.

Bonus materials

Included in this edition are a bonus slideshow featuring rare production stills and behind-the-scenes photos, as well as a booklet with an essay and biographical material on some of the actors and artists by film historian Lenny Borger.



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