Capellani’s “Robespierre”

La fin de Robespierre
R: Albert Capellani. B: Paul Gaulot. K: Pierre Trimbach. D: Jacques Grétillat, Georges Saillard, Charles de Rochefort, Marie Ventura, Georges Dorival, Cesare Gravina, Thelès. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles
Fragment: The end of the film is probably lost.

About Jean-Lambert Tallien (1767-1820)
Tallien [played by Jacques Grétillat] was one of the most active popular leaders in the storming of the Tuileries Palace on 10 August; on that day he was appointed secretary to the insurrectional Commune of Paris. He committed himself to his new mission, and habitually appeared at the bar of the Assembly on behalf of the Commune. He was a direct participant in the September Massacres of 1792, and, with the help of Georges Danton, would eventually be elected a member of the National Convention. He announced the September Massacres in terms of apology and praise, and he sent off the famous circular of 3 September to the French provinces, recommending them to take similar action.  (…) Tallien was of the most notorious envoys sent over to establish the Terror in the provinces, and soon established a revolutionary grip on Bordeaux. (…)

However, after the initial days of his mission in Bordeaux, Tallien began to shift away from his bloody Terrorist tendencies. This tendency may be due to his romantic involvement with Thérésa Cabarrús [Maria Ventura], the stunning daughter of Francisco Cabarrús and former wife of the émigré Marquis de Fontenay. Tallien not only spared her life but fell in love with her. As she was extremely wealthy and desired by many, it is possible that she became involved with Jean Tallien in order to save her neck from the guillotine at Bordeaux and influence Tallien to show lenience towards her aristocratic associates. Tallien suggested, ‘It is better to marry than to be beheaded.’ After Tallien became involved with Cabarrús, there was a notable decline in the number of executions in Bordeaux. (…)

Maximilien Robespierre‘s [Georges Saillard] own political ideas implied his readiness to strike at many of his colleagues in the committees, and Tallien was one of the men condemned. Robespierre’s rivals were determined to strike first. When Tallien was recalled, Thérésa Cabarrús was recaptured and imprisoned. She was set to face trial and likely would have been executed. She sent a letter to Tallien on 26 July, which included a dagger and a note accusing him of weakness for not attempting to free her. Thérésa stated, ‘I die in despair at having belonged to a coward like you.’ The movement was successful: Robespierre and his friends were guillotined, and Tallien, as the leading Thermidorian, was elected to the Committee of Public Safety.”

>>> Charles Kent’s The Days of Terror