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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Edmond T Greville - Sydney cinephiles add to the sum of knowledge.

Barrie Pattison writes in response to the post below on Edmond T Greville 
Well as I have been mentioned in dispatches on the subject of Edmond T. Greville, I must admit to a sneaky regard for his fringe films - the ones that stray into undisciplined and weird. His MADEMOISELLE DOCTEUR is a much better entertainment than the Pabst version, whose footage it loots for a montage. BEAT GIRL and the incomprehensible GUILTY come under that umbrella. His more conventional efforts are pretty sucky - The ROMANTIC AGE was on  Sydney's community TV channel 44 last week. PORT DU DESIR is just as dull.

I like to think there is better lurking in the extensive catalog of Greville films that sank without leaving even bootleg VHS and stray 16mm. Gabin did a movie with him and Erich Von Stroheim made three. Bertrand Tavernier was devoted to him and ended up bank-rolling his funeral. 

Incidentally, Gillian Hills' finest hour was Franju's LA FAUT DE L'ABBE MOURET which would have been a better movie with some of Greville's freakiness.

Ken Wallin writes: 
Hi Geoff, I was interested in your comments on Edmund Greville today, and would like to point out that in addition to the titles you discuss, there's another one among the many Ealing Rarities volumes that is really interesting. This is Secret Lives (1936) which stars Neil Hamilton and Brigitte Horney in a Mata Hari type WW1 spy story. I first saw this at a BFI archival screening in 2010 and was impressed by what seemed a conscious effort to emulate the Sternberg style of Dishonoured with Otto Heller's photography and a Dietrich like treatment of Horney. These 30s films were made at the Ealing site by various companies.  In calling the series Ealing Rarities they are padding out  these volumes with titles from the era before Balcon's regime.

Another Greville title that I recall seeing on video years ago is Hands of Orlac, made straight after Beat Girl, a famous horror story filmed at various times (eg Freund's Mad Love with Peter Lorre). 

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