L’absent (De afwezige)
R: Albert Capellani. B: George Mitchell (play). D: Henri Étiévant, Henri Rollan, Jeanne Grumbach. P: Pathé Frères – SCAGL/Hollandsche Film. Fr/Ne 1913
“Dries, a farmer and a widower, lives with his mother-in-law Grietje and his son Peter. He falls in love with Minna, a widow, and marries her despite the opposition of his family and friends. In anger his son Peter leaves home to enlist, while Grietje takes up her residence in another cottage.
Six years pass, during which Grietje becomes acquainted with Minna’s daughter Dina and starts to mediate between the families. Peter falls ill in Sumatra, but after seeing Dina’s picture he recovers and is drafted home again to Holland. He meets Dina and the two find that they truly love one another. Minna now sets herself to bring about general reunion, and this she eventually succeeds in doing.”
“Henri Rollan, real name Henri Martine, was born in Paris on 23 March 1888. In 1906 he started his acting career with the great André Antoine at the Theatre de l’Odeon, where he would remain until 1909, playing in classics such as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In 1910 Rollan debuted in film, perhaps attracted by previous film contributions by renowned stage actors such as Charles Le Bargy. His first film was probably the Film d’Art production L’Héritière (1910), directed by Henri Pouctal and André Calmettes and starring Paul Mounet of the Comédie française. In the same year Rollan played in the Pathé film L’Amour et le temps (Michel Carré 1910), a mythological tale starring young Raymonde Dupré as Cupid and thespian Henry Krauss as grumpy old Father Time. Several more Pathé films followed, such as L’Absent (Albert Capellani 1913), in which Henri Étievant played the lead as a Dutch farmer whose son and mother-in-law (Jeanne Grumbach) refuse his second wife (Germaine Dermoz) and her daughter.”
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