The Lighthouse Keepers (1929) Poster

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9/10
Nighthouse keepers
dbdumonteil28 September 2012
This silent movie must be considered Grémillon's first masterwork;its very bad copy is in need of restoration.

Two lighthouse keepers (the father and the son) are to spend one entire month in the middle of the sea near the coasts of Brittany;a series of bizarre flashbacks reveals us that the young man has been bitten by a rabid dog.He remembers things of his past,his fiancée,the attack of the dog -which he did not take seriously- and he's seeing things too ,sometimes his visions become mad .As his condition gets worse,he and his father,prisoners of their islet ,inaccessible because of the raging sea ,begin to panic.It almost verges on horror movie,and it will be imitated later.

The soundtrack is brilliant,close to musique concrete ,with a metallic predominance and sinister glug-glugs;even when they remember the Britton folk dances ,the sound is not that of bagpipes .Grémillon creates,without the sound effects of modern technology ,a feeling of deadly claustrophobia which grabs the viewer and there's no letup as it continues to build in intensity and drama as the flashbacks ,hallucinations and madness invade the enclosed place.

Grémillon's love for Brittany would emerge again ,notably in "Remorques" and mainly in his swansong "L'Amour D'Une Femme" in which an entire sequence was filmed in a lighthouse.
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8/10
Help, forgotten masterpiece waiting for restoration !!!
happytrigger-64-39051724 December 2019
We know that Jean Grémillon is one of the great director in french classic cinema with great masterpieces as "Gueule d'Amour", "l'Etrange Monsieur Victor", "Remorques", "Lumière d'été", "le Ciel est à vous"... This "Gardiens de Phare" is forgotten because no decent print is available, only an ugly one. Close to horror movie, this unusual movie deserves urgently restoration to admire at last sumptuous sequences of the raging ocean, the lighthouse and a mad man affected by rabies having hallucinations and terrorizing his father (they work in the lighthouse for one month and stay prisoners because of the storm).

Jean Grémillon directed other movies in Britain, "Remorques" (Brest, Pointe du Petit Minou, Grève du Vougot at Plougerneau, in front of la Pointe Saint-Mathieu at Plougonvelin), "Pattes Blanches" (in Erquy) and "l'Amour d'une Femme" (isle of Ouessant).
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