6.6/10
39
3 user 1 critic

Prometheus... Banker (1921)

Prométhée... banquier (original title)
| Short, Drama
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Cast

Cast overview:
Gabriel Signoret ... Monsieur Prévoyan
Ève Francis
Marcelle Pradot Marcelle Pradot
Jaque Catelain ... Toudieu
Philippe Hériat Philippe Hériat
Léon Moussinac Léon Moussinac
Louis Delluc
Marcel Rival Marcel Rival
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Storyline

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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

None | French

Also Known As:

Prometheus... Banker See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A preparatory sketch for L'Argent

I hadn't intended to write a review of this movie, however as I disagree with the comment left by writers_reign I thought a contrasting opinion might provide perspective to users.

L'Herbier was a great filmmaker, known today mostly for his highly glamorous and grandiose silent films L'Inhumaine (1924) and L'Argent (1928). However it is a sound film of his, the, at points dadaist dream La Nuit Fantastique (1942) which I am most strongly fond of.

Prometheus... Banker is inspired apparently by the Aeschylus play Prometheus Bound according to an intertitle. However I cannot be sure that L'Herbier even read it as Prometheus in that play is a hero who thwarts Zeus's plans for apocalypse. The Prometheus line is really a red herring, the banker in the film perhaps is playing God, speculation on the Bourse making a plaything of bricks and mortar business and flesh and blood workers? That's the closest I bring the film and the premise together.

This film shows a banker tied to his desk, he cannot leave it for fear of missing a telephone call with vital information and stock updates. His office is his prison cell and L'Herbier literally shows close ups of him with the outline prison bars silhouetted in front of the image. The film is also prescient we see lunch delivered to our banker friend at his desk, who then obliterates it like a starved dog, lest he miss out on some Bourse action, not good for the digestion for sure.

In the end he loses his tart to his male secretary because he literally refuses to leave his desk. The intertitles are pretty florid in relation to the nature of money, you feel like the pudding has been really over-egged. Nothing too spectacular going on in terms of mise en scene either. My favourite thing was a painting on the office wall, which looked quite a lot like an Uccello, though it probably won't have been.

If you watch l'Argent which is a gloriously impressionist epic length movie based upon the same themes of what money does to the soul, you will find l'Argent both more brilliant technically speaking (the camera techniques are breathtaking), of more interest in terms of character development, much more persuasive in terms of theme, and absolutely streets ahead in terms of set design. This film really is only a preparatory sketch.


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