Movie 18min

Faust (1910)

Faust sells his soul to the devil for youth and pleasure, and falls for the beautiful Marguerite.

+ 14 images
Directors Enrico Guazzoni , Henri Andréani , David Barnett
Countries France Italy United Kingdom
Language French
(Série d'Art Pathé Frères) Pathé Frères
(UK, 1910) Animatophone
(USA, 1910) Eclair Film Company
(USA, 1911) General Film Company
(France, 1910) Pathé Frères
(US import) Pathé Frères
Based on Play Black and White Death Death of Child Drama Duel Forgiveness Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Murder Pact with the Devil Prison Short Silent Film Temptation The Devil Tragedy

This entrancing story, drawn from the world-renowned tragedy of Goethe, opens in the mysterious working den of Dr. Faust, who, old and worn out with years of stern study, and on the verge of despair through longing for the pleasures of his bygone youth, all of which he has surrendered to his learning, thinks of resorting to in order to end the weariness of his declining days. He, however, dashes down the cup at the last moment, and calls upon the infernal powers to aid him. Immediately Mephistopheles appears and offers him youth and pleasure in exchange for the surrender of his soul. Faust, dazzled by the splendor of the vision which is to him by his alluring companion, accepts the compact, signs the fatal paper, and is at once transformed into a handsome young man. Mephistopheles then shows Faust the beautiful Marguerite, and immediately he falls desperately in love with the innocent girl. Finally, aided by the perfidious suggestions of his companion, Faust succeeds is in winning the heart of poor Marguerite. Valentine, eager to revenge his sister's honor, is killed in a duel by Faust, who seeks safety in flight. Betrayed, deserted, demented from sorrow, the unfortunate Marguerite is thrown into a dungeon and left to her grief. Meanwhile, Mephistopheles endeavors to make Faust forget the unhappy girl, but in vain; love has overcome the powers of evil, and all his magic is In vain. Faust hastens to the prison and seeks Marguerite; his passionate words of love restore her for a moment to reason, but only for a moment. She is just able to offer him forgiveness, and then dies in his arms. Rarely has there been a better representation of this wonderful drama. The pitiful story of Marguerite and Faust makes its appeal to all humanity, and words cannot add to its charm and effectiveness.

Source: Moving Picture World

A spectacle unequaled in the world of motion pictures
This is the old story which has been handed down to us from time immemorial, and which was woven into a drama by Goethe and set to music by Gounod. The story of Faust and his temptation by the devil is so well known as to render a repetition of the story unnecessary. The film follows closely the Goethe dramatization, and is magnificent in its scenery, action and coloring. Like Il Trovatore, the music has been arranged to suit the film, scene for scene, and, with the musical accompaniment, forms a spectacle unequaled in the world of motion pictures. Faust is shown in his study, tired of life. Mephistopheles tempts him, shows him Marguerite, and offers to restore Faust's youth if he will sign away his soul. Other scenes show Faust at the Kirmess; show him changed to a youth again; show his love-making to Marguerite, his duel with her brother; Marguerite's final arrest, the loss of reason and death, and finally Mephistopheles claiming her soul. Undoubtedly this film will make a tremendous impression, and be thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who witnesses it.

Source: The Moving Picture World, June 17, 1911

This scene, very fortunately adapted from Goethe's masterpiece, features the learned doctor Faust, a living incarnation of the thirst for knowledge, the thirst for enjoyment, and the need to act. He gives himself to the demon, at least as much out of desperation to recognize the nothingness of science, as to exhaust the cup of voluptuousness. Carried away by passion, he seduces the innocent Marguerite whom he then abandons. The unfortunate woman, reduced to despair, kills the child born of her fault. Thrown into prison, Faust, after the night of Valpurgis, comes to join her there and she expires in his arms.

Source: Pathe Freres - Translated

An entrancing piece of dramatic work
A presentation of Goethe's famous tragedy which will appeal to lovers of the drama as an unusually accurate interpretation of the great play. Its principal theme, the triumph of love over evil, and Faust's hastening to the prison, where Marguerite, restored briefly to reason, dies in his arms, is admirably managed and constitutes an entrancing piece of dramatic work. The three principal characters are admirably acted, each one performing his or her part in a manner that indicates the most careful and elaborate preparation. In dramas of this type there is always some theme around which it all centers, and in this instance the real feature of the play has never for a moment been lost. The result is that one acquires a deeper comprehension of the play and what it means, with a more searching analysis of the fundamental elements of human life upon which it is based.

Source: The Moving Picture World, July 16, 1910

There were made slightly different versions of this movie for UK, France, Italy and US. Together with the film followed a soundtrack of Animatophone (Gounod, Ch. Müller).

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Alfredo Bracci - Faust
Fernanda Negri Pouget - Margherita
Ugo Bazzini - Mefistofele
Giuseppe Gambardella - Auerbach, the Innkeeper
Charles P. Müller - Music
Charles Gounod - Writer (Opera)
Enrico Guazzoni - Director
Michel Carré - Music (Libretto)
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - Author (Play)
Georges Fagot - Writer
Henri Andréani - Director
David Barnett - Director
Jules Barbier - Writer (Libretto)
Faust story, retold, again

When Film d'Art goes and does a remake, they usually make sure it is something more than what is made before - and this one is... kind of that. It is very similar to the earlier Pathé Freres version albeit improved in most ways. The acting and the sets are better, and it all just feels more complete. The story here is easy to follow and there are lots of attention to detail. Most memorable is Mephistoles played by Ugo Bazzini.