In early french cinema was Zola everywhere : Duvivier ("Au bonheur des dames", 1930) and Renoir ("Nana", 1926 and "La bête humaine", 1938) made great adaptations of his novels for the big screen but "L´argent" surpassed them all. In this finest big-budget-high-tempo drama, L´Herbier films the faces like only Dreyer or Einsenstein did before him.
Epic drama, on a grand scale. Zola, updated to the Jazz age - it surely wouldn't take much to update the story for our own benighted times. Money corrupts - of course - and filmed with such opulent style! Brigitte Helm's seductive Baroness Sandorf and Pierre Alcover's monster of appetite, the banker Saccord stand out in a cast of, surely, thousands.
I believe I lack at least three PhDs to rate this movie appropriately: (I) history of cinema, (II) anthropology, (III) psychoanalysis. So I limit my review to this: not 5 stars because it took me three evenings to finish it, visually STUNNING. After this, how can someone celebrate the uninnovative hollywoodians stepping on a red carpet? The pervasiveness of power makes you feel dirty, the purity of lights humble.
A real gem of late silent film. The camera is extraordinary, often working with unusual angles, points of views or movements and therewith serves as important element of storytelling. I also estimate Jean-François Zygel's improvised piano accompaniment for this version, because using the sharpened modern idiom of late 1920s music seems not only suitable for this film but intensifies the tension of many sequences.
Spectacular silent film based on Emile Zola novel. Brigitte Helm plots against Nicolas Saccard, one of the kings of Moneypolis. I would like that our new generation of traders or so-called bankers watches this film. Thus, they will maybe understand why they are so pathetic. But I'm fantasizing. Maasterpiece.