L’Atlantide (1932)

Article #449 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-7-2002
Posting date: 10-31-2002

A man in the foreign legion discovers the lost civilization of Atlantis in the Sahara desert, and comes under the spell of its queen.

What, we’re back here again? Didn’t we just do this movie some time ago? Yes, and no. During the early years of sound a phenomenon arose whereby certain movies were shot in several versions in different languages; during the silent era, this was not necesary, as merely the title cards needed to be changed. DRACULA (with its alternate Spanish language version) is merely the most famous example; L’ATLANTIDE was shot in three different languages; English, French and German. I’ve already covered the English version (THE MISTRESS OF ATLANTIS); this is the French version, and outside of a few different performers, it is for all practical reasons the same movie; Brigitte Helm appeared in all three, and since her character has very few lines, it wasn’t too much of a problem to have her speak three different languages. Actually, this particular story seems to be giving me a language workout; the 1920 version had Italian title cards, and this French version I have has German subtitles, which makes me suspect that the German version is missing altogether. It’s still a beautiful movie to look at, though I’m sure English-speakers will want to opt for the English language version first to grasp the subtleties of the plot.


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