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Whirlpool of Fate (1925)

La fille de l'eau (original title)
TV-PG | | Drama, Romance | 20 March 1925 (France)
After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the ... See full summary »


Jean Renoir


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Complete credited cast:
Catherine Hessling ... Virginia Rosaert
Charlotte Clasis Charlotte Clasis ... Madame Maubien
Pierre Champagne Pierre Champagne ... Justin Crepoix
Maurice Touzé Maurice Touzé ... La Fuine
Georges Térof Georges Térof ... Monsieur Raynal
Madame Fockenberghe Madame Fockenberghe ... Madame Raynal
Harold Levingston Harold Levingston ... Georges Raynal
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
André Derain André Derain ... Patron du 'Bon Coin'
Van Doren Van Doren ... Young lover
Pierre Lestringuez Pierre Lestringuez ... Jef
Henriette Moret Henriette Moret ... La Roussette
Pierre Renoir ... Farmer


After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the peasants coerce her to flee the peasants' riot. She is then helped by Raynal who falls in love with her but is too shy to tell her. Sheltered by his father, Virginia is robbed by her uncle of the money Raynal gave her to pay the bill in the village. He and his son then start to consider her a thief. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance








Release Date:

20 March 1925 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Whirlpool of Fate See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films Jean Renoir See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Jean Renoir: An Auteur to Remember (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Pedestrian melodrama
8 July 2007 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

Renoir this picture may be, but it's no masterpiece; indeed, it's not particularly good.

The story gives the impression of having been cut down from a sprawling melodrama and crammed into too small a space, with highly-coloured events occurring in implausible and ultimately tedious sequence: the film is only about seven reels, but felt considerably longer to sit through by the end. There is no character development to speak of, the various individuals concerned being one-dimensional cardboard figures who pop in and out of the plot as convenient, and the leading lady is neither convincing as an adolescent nor, apparently, much of an actress. The male roles are fairly well-played within the limitations and stereotyping of the script, but Catherine Hessling all too often gives the impression of simply striking poses and painting on expressions to order.

The dislocated and arbitrary nature of the calamities that befall her verges at times on the bathetic, since practically no prefiguring takes place. If a man falls overboard, or a quarry opens up suddenly underneath her, or a family abruptly up sticks and move abroad lock, stock and barrel, then it is purely for the convenience of the plot. As others have commented, the most memorable sequence is that of the nightmare where she finds herself surreally beset by villains from earlier episodes; this experimentation was presumably where the director's heart lay. A little of this, however, goes a long way.

All in all, the film isn't even bad enough to be good. An actress of Mary Pickford's calibre might perhaps have pulled some successful emotional impact out of the twopenny plot, but failing any particular interest or sympathy for the central character (it's hard not to share La Fouine's impatience as she proves such a shrinking liability in her first poaching lesson) I felt this picture had little to offer. It tries for low humour; it tries for high drama; it tries for romance. It doesn't achieve a terribly impressive level in any of them.

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