The biggest French fantasy film of the 1920s, it is remarkably cast with some of the great actors of that era: Ivan Mosjoukine, (as Mathias Pascal), Michel Simon, Lois Moran, Pierre Batcheff and Marcelle Pradot. The film also boasts famous stylized sets designed by Alberto Cavalcanti and Lazare Meerson, seen here to best advantage in a stunning tinted and toned print restored by the Cinématheque Française, and accompanied by a beautiful large-orchestra score composed and conducted by Timothy Brock.


This engrossing adaptation follows Mathias, an eccentric dreamer, is trapped in the undertakings of daily life as he suffers his days in a loveless marriage, a dead end job and tyrannized by his ungrateful mother-in-law. Grief-stricken by the death of his mother and infant daughter, Mathias flees to Monte Carlo, where a run of luck at roulette wins him a fortune. After his death is falsely reported, Mathias leaps at the chance of a second and adventurous life in Rome. Both tragedy and comedy, The Late Mathias Pascal explores the struggles and possibilities of a man in search of happiness in L’Herbier’s most celebrated film.


Critic David Melville wrote “The White Russian exile Ivan Mosjoukine was arguably the greatest male star of the silent screen. Imagine an actor who combined the matinée idol looks of John Barrymore with the smoldering sexual magnetism of Valentino, the deft physical comedy of Chaplin with the dark Gothic creepiness of Lon Chaney. It sounds impossible, of course - unless you've seen Mosjoukine in action.”


This is a co-production of L’Herbier’s Cinegraphic company, and Alexandre Kamenka’s Films Albatros, the Parisian home of the émigré Russian screen colony and maker of many of the most prestigious films of the decade. L’Herbier at this time was among cinema’s leading avant-garde directors, the equal of Fritz Lang, Abel Gance and Erich von Stroheim, and The Late Mathias Pascal is considered one of his best films, full of picturesque tricks, “spiritual” angles, and dream sequences as it passes from rural chamber-film to burlesque fantasy, with an incursion into expressionist comedy of manners. Also included in this edition are notes on the film by historian Richard Abel, from his book French Cinema: the First Wave, 1915-1929 (Princeton University Press, 1984).



Format: Blu-ray NTSC / Region All
(No Regional Code)


(France, 1926)

Director: Marcel L'Herbier, Assisted by Alberto Cavalcanti
Scenario: Marcel L'Herbier, from the novel by Luigi Pirandello
Photography: Jean Letort, Paul Guichard, Jimmy Berliet, Fédote Bourgassoff, Micolas Roudakoff
Design: Alberto Cavalcanti, Lazare Meerson
Exteriors: San Gimignano, Rome, Monte-Carlo
Production Company: Cinégraphic-Films Albatros
Studios: Montreuil, Menchen (Epinay), Gaumont

• 171 minutes
• B&W, Tinted


Total Running Time: 02:51:00

Language: English intertitles

Musical Score: Timothy Brock

Booklet Text: Richard Abel

Published By: Flicker Alley

Institutional Price: $250 (plus shipping)

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