» » Le trust, ou les batailles de l'argent (1911)

Short summary

A young inventor is kidnapped to force him to tell the secret of his invention, but he foils his captors thanks to a pen with invisible ink.

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    • Author: Obong
    Le trust, ou les batailles de l'argent (1911)

    *** (out of 4)

    Far-fetched but very entertaining thriller about corrupt men and dirty big business. In the film a man discovers a way to develop rubber in a more cost-friendly way and he's on his way back to his boss with the new formula but he's kidnapped by his companies rival who wants the formula for himself. This 24-minute film has quite a bit in common with the director's later JUREX as there's all sorts of corruption going on with several similar plot-lines. I don't think a single person will be able to view this thing and believe anything you see but no one ever said a thriller needs you to believe every frame in the picture. I think what works so well here is that we several early signs of the thriller being born even if none of the ideas are put through in a believable way. Again, you don't have to believe every second but I think the film could have been even better had there been some more time given to the actual plot because how things play out it just seems way too fast for everything to happen and be pulled off the way they are. The film has a terrific twist that I won't ruin but it will certainly have you smiling in how clever it is. The scene where we have a bad guy in disguise to break into the office was effectively done as was a scene where a poison gas is let loose to take care of someone the bad guys need to pull off the kidnapping. Many Gaumont regulars are on hand here including Renee Carl, Jean Devalde and Rene Navarre and all do fine work in the roles. Feuillade doesn't bring too much flash to the film and one could argue that he was miled behind what Griffith was doing in America in terms of using editing to build suspense but this is still a well-crafted film and one well worth checking out.
  • Cast overview:
    Renée Carl Renée Carl - Juliette Michaud
    René Navarre René Navarre - Le détective Julien Kieffer
    Paul Manson Paul Manson - Emile Darbois
    Jean Devalde Jean Devalde - Jean Brémond
    Fernand Herrmann Fernand Herrmann - An Accomplice
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