Submerged in Gloom? Not Really.

R: André Liabel. B: Alphonse Daudet (novel). D: Villeneuve, Damorès, Olga Demidoff, Renée Sylvaire, Bahier. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“Drama about the life of Jack, a boy who grows up without a father. Jack is sent to boarding school by his mother. He decides to leave school when his mother marries one of the teachers. He soon finds work as an apprentice metal worker, but after a false accusation of theft, he embarks on a boat as a stoker in Saint-Nazaire. The ship perishes, but Jack survives. Eventually he goes to Paris to study medicine because he is in love with Cecile, the doctor’s daughter, where he ended up after his ship accident. She later rejects him because she is ashamed that he is a bastard. Jack dies of sorrow.”

Extended summary in English: Moving Picture World synopsis

“This is a four-part picture made by the Paris Eiclair Company, from the novel of Alphonse Daudet. The production does not make good entertainment for the average house. It will, of course, have greater interest for the comparative few who have read the book. The whole story is submerged in gloom; there is not a light, a sprightly touch throughout the length of the picture. There is a good cast, among the players being Mr. Liable and Miss Sylvaire. The death of Jack was painfully prolonged.”
The Moving Picture World, December 20, 1913

Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), French short-story writer and novelist, now remembered chiefly as the author of sentimental tales of provincial life in the south of France. (…) Psychologically, Daudet represents a synthesis of conflicting elements, and his actual experience of life at every social level and in the course of travels helped to develop his natural gifts. A true man of the south of France, he combined an understanding of passion with a view of the world illuminated by Mediterranean sunlight and allowed himself unfettered flights of the imagination without ever relaxing his attention to the detail of human behaviour. (…) As he grew older Daudet became more and more preoccupied with the great conflicts in human relationship, as is evident in his later novels: ‘Jack’ (1876) presents a woman torn between physical and maternal love; ‘Numa Roumestan’ (1881), the antagonism between the northern and the southern character in man and woman; ‘L’Évangéliste’ (1883), filial affection struggling against religious fanaticism; and ‘La Petite Paroisse’ (1895), the contrarieties of jealousy.” (…)
Jacques-Henry Bornecque

André Liabel was a French actor, film director and screenwriter, known for Zigomar, peau d’anguille – Episode 1 (1913, dir. by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset), Koenigsmark (1923, dir. by Léonce Perret) and Dans l’ombre du harem (1928, dir. Liabel with Léon Mathot). He began his career as comedian by working full-time as an actor for the cinematographic compagny Laboratoires Éclair which had just opened its new studios at Épinay-sur-Seine in 1908. He performed in more than sixty films until 1933. He also was assistant director.

>>> Liabel as actor in Zigomar contre Nick Carter