DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

GRIBICHE (MOTHER OF MINE) (director/writer: Jacques Feyder; screenwriter: novel by Frederic Boutet; cinematographers: Maurice Forster/Maurice Desfassiaux; cast: Jean Forest (Antoine "Gribiche" Belot), Francoise Rosay (Edith Maranet), Cecile Guyon (Anna Belot), Rolla Norman (Phillippe Gavary), Alice Tissot (Teacher), Charles Barrois (Marcelin); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Alexandre Kamenka; Flicker Alley; 1926-silent-France-in French with English subtitles)

"A satirical Mary Pickford-style silent observant social drama passionately written and directed by Jacques Feyder."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A satirical Mary Pickford-style silent observant social drama passionately written and directed by Jacques Feyder ("Visages D'Enfants"/"Pension Mimosas"/"Crainquebille"). It was adapted by Feyder from a novel by Frederic Boutet. This film was restored for a second time in 2009 by Cinematheque Francaise.

The low-born 12-year-old Gribiche (Jean Forest) returns the hand-bag of rich American Edith Maranet (Francoise Rosay, wife of the director), who lost it while shopping in a department store, and she takes his address after he refuses a reward. Afterwards the child accepts her generous offer to educate and adopt him, as he feels he's a burden to his caring widowed mom, Anna Belot (Cecile Guyon), a union organizer who hopes to marry factory foreman Phillippe Gavary (Rolla Norman) but he's unwilling to support a step-son.

It's a well-executed cautionary class-warfare tale, that gently pokes fun at all those Hollywood pics of orphans saved by being adopted by rich Americans.

This is Forest's third and last film with Feyder, who discovered the kid on the streets of Paris when coming out of a cafe with his wife.

REVIEWED ON 11/12/2013       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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