L’HOMME QUI VENDIT SON AME (1943)
aka The Man Who Sold His Soul
Article 4009 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jean-Paul Paulin
Featuring Andre Luguet, Robert Le Vigan, Michele Alfa
What it is: Faust variation
A banker is saved from bankruptcy by the devil, but the new wealth he acquires has a price; he must use it for evil.
As the copy that I was able to acquire is in French without subtitles, I’m grateful for a few of the plot descriptions to help me get as much as I can out of it; otherwise, I would have found it very difficult to follow. Still, Faust variations were pretty common during the forties, and this seems like one of the lesser ones. There are some good things about it; the acting seems quite good, with whoever was playing the Mephistopheles character (Robert Le Vigan, maybe?) being the most striking, there’s a memorable sequence in which the banker is the sole audience member for an opera, and the events surrounding the moment where the banker discovers what will happen if he uses his money for good purposes is pretty fun. Still, the movie seems slow and uninteresting, especially if you can’t follow the language. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to give it another try with a plot description and/or subtitles to help me out. And I’m always glad to finally see a movie that had ended up on my “ones that got away” list.