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L'homme du large (1920)

Nolff, a tough Breton fisherman is happy: his wife has just given birth to a son, Michel. His only wish is to make him a fisherman like him. But when he becomes a man, Michel becomes a ... See full summary »

Director:

Marcel L'Herbier

Writers:

Marcel L'Herbier (scenario), Honoré de Balzac (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jaque Catelain ... Michel - le fils d'un honnête pêcheur qui tourne mal
Roger Karl ... Nolff - un rude pêcheur breton
Charles Boyer ... Guenn la Taupe - le mauvais génie de Michel
Philippe Hériat Philippe Hériat ... Le protecteur
Marcelle Pradot Marcelle Pradot ... Djenna - la soeur vertueuse de Michel
Claire Prélia Claire Prélia ... La mère de Michel et de Djenna, à la santé fragile
Claude Autant-Lara ... Un des copains
Dimitri Dragomir Dimitri Dragomir ... Un des copains
Suzanne Doris Suzanne Doris ... Lia
Lili Samuel Lili Samuel ... La lesbienne
Georges Forois Georges Forois ... Un pêcheur
Pâquerette ... La tenancière
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jeanne Bérangère
André Daven André Daven
Jane Dolys Jane Dolys
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Storyline

Nolff, a tough Breton fisherman is happy: his wife has just given birth to a son, Michel. His only wish is to make him a fisherman like him. But when he becomes a man, Michel becomes a good-for-nothing who spends his time in taverns with his evil genius friend Gwenn la Taupe. The sea will be his judge. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 December 1920 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Czlowiek otwartych przestrzeni See more »

Filming Locations:

Penmarc'h, Finistère, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gaumont Série Pax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

 
Judgement of the sea.
1 October 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

This movie is another proof positive that Lherbier was much better when he made silent movies than in the talkies era."L'Homme du Large" compares favorably with Murnau's "Sunrise" which was yet to be released in 1920.

It's the story of four characters:The father (Nolff),the mother(she was not given a name),the brother (Michel)and the sister (Djenna).It takes place in Britanny among the menhirs (Carnac?) and in front of the sea.

Nolff presents the sea with his son: "here's your "promise" (old French word for "fiancée") he tells the baby .Nolff is very proud to have a boy and tells his wife "Now I will take care of him,you'll keep your daughter." Unfortunately,as years pass by,the girl becomes a virtuous good woman whereas the spoiled child turns into a good-for-nothing,always hanging around in the town -which epitomizes evil- .Nolff wanted his son to become a fisherman ,but all the boy wants is to have fun with his bad pals in the low dive.Always short of the readies,his father is a cash cow to him.

A movie of redemption,where religion and mysticism come to the fore.Brittany is one of the French regions where religious fervor is the most intense.Faith in Virgin Mary for the women.On the other hand,and although he goes to church for Easter,the father's religion has pagan accents with old testament accents.His "judgement of the sea' has got something of Abraham.But the Nile was Mosis's salvation,and it's possible that the father hopes against hope that something will happen.

Admirable scenes: -The boy in the low dive while his father is sailing and his mother is dying.Editing is stunning.

-The cross which appears on the sea.

-The shadows of the brother and the sister who meet again on the beach .

-The father tearing off his daughter's nun's clothes when his prodigal son has come home.

But it's the whole movie which is captivating.It has the strength of Victor Hugo's epic poem "Les Pauvres Gens" .


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