Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1920) di Pierre Benoît. Scen.: Musidora. F.: Frank Daniau-Johnston, Léonce Crouan. Scgf.: René Carrère. Int.: Musidora (Allegria Petchart), Stephen Weber (Olivier de Préneste), Abel Tarride (il generale Gelimar), Marguerite Greyval (la governante), Jean Daragon (il comandante Ibanes), Simone Cynthia (Conchita), Henri Janvier (il vecchio pastore), Jean Signoret (Arquillo), Paul Clérouc (il conte di Magnoac), René Carrère. Prod.: Société des Films Musidora. DCP. D.: 90’. Bn.
Thanks to Annette Förster who is responsible for initiating Cinémathèque de Toulouse’s reconstruction of this film, which used only its remaining elements: an incomplete French distribution nitrate print, preserved at Cinémathèque de Toulouse, and an incomplete work print without intertitles for foreign distribution, preserved at Cinémathèque française. Many of the missing intertitles were reconstructed using archive materials of Cinémathèque française’s Musidora Collection.
Pour Don Carlos was the biggest production by Société des Films Musidora (est. December 10, 1919). Based on a novel by Pierre Benoît, Musidora’s first creatively autonomous work is set during the conflict between Carlists and Bourbons in late 19th century Spain. Benoît insisted that Jacques Lasseyne, a Spanish grandee who put money into the production, should co-direct. The film was shot in 1920, in the Spanish Basque Country. It represents a turning point in Musidora’s career, sparking her passionate love affair with a country and a culture that welcomed her as a great star. Above all, though, she encountered Antonio Cañero, a bullfighter who acted as her technical adviser on the film. Because of him, she did all she could to ensure that her succeeding productions, until 1926, were shot in Spain. Pour Don Carlos was released in Paris and in Madrid in December 1921, in a shortened version because its original, three-hour length made it impossible to release in the market of the time.
Marién Gómez Rodríguez
Restored in 2019 by Cinémathèque de Toulouse, Cinémathèque française and San Francisco Silent Film Festival, with the support of Filmoteca Vasca, Museo del Carlismo, Amis de Pierre Benoît and Amis de Musidora at Hiventy laboratory (4K scan and grading) and L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory (digital restoration)