Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset

F.: Lucien Andriot; Int: Josette Andriot (Protéa), Lucien Bataille (L’Anguille) Charles Krauss (Barone di Nyborg) Henri Gouget (M. de Robertsau); Prod.: Eclair

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Josette Andriot (1886-1942) did not, of course, have the looks of a typical preFirst World War romantic lead. But, hired by Jasset in 1910 for her riding skills, she revealed her other accomplishments – as a champion swimmer and acrobat, as the occasion demanded – before demonstrating her utter versatility in the character of Protéa. This part was to overturn the traditional adventure genre which – be it novel or cinema – was usually embodied in a male hero. This innovation was indisputably the brainchild of Jasset, even if Feuillade would perfect it in Les Vampires, and would bring new life to the subject matter of action films. The Americans would learn from it: in the serials they launched from 1915, to rival French production, they would always give the lead to a woman: Pearl White, Ruth Roland, Helen Holmes, Juanita Hansen.. (…) Thus Protéa, in 1913, was the first adventure heroine of the silent cinema. Three years before Mata Hari and Marthe Richard came on the scene in real life, she was the first female spy, the first heroine of what was not yet called the “film d’espionnage” but the “film patriotique”. She was a Mata Hari who, as well as dancing, had learned to tame wild beasts and take off from a terrace in a speeding car, a Marthe Richard who, as well as flying a plane, had mastered the art of jumping, on a bicycle, across a bridge in flames. Produced and then distributed by Éclair in September 1913, Protéa signalled the apotheosis of an actress whom Jasset had until now used in roles which were notable but too discreet to qualify her for the stardom she would prove worthy of. The success of the first Protéa was as much due to the genius of Jasset as to the personality of the young actress.

Francis Lacassin

Copy From