The lover

Phil Powrie and Éric Rebillard

in Pierre Batcheff and Stardom in 1920s French Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780748621972
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651191 | DOI:
The lover

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This chapter presents seven films in which Pierre Batcheff starred during a very busy three-year period (1926–1928) when ten films appeared. In these seven films, Batcheff is always the lover (as he is in all his films), often a foreigner (Russian, Corsican, ‘Silistrian’) or placed in a foreign location (the ‘tropics’, Africa), usually from the upper class (aristocrat, baron, prince) or highly successful in his career (an engineer, an aviator, a famous artist). He discovers that he is an illegitimate son in three of these films, subsequently rejecting his family; in two of them he even falls in love incestuously with his half-sister. There is a consistent narrative emerging from the films Batcheff chose to star in during this period; he tries to be a lover within a family structure that is in his eyes oppressive, and as a result escapes, becoming other or alien. This chapter focuses on two films, Éducation de prince and La Sirène des tropiques, partly because they are easily consultable, but mainly because they exemplify the problems of otherness.

Keywords: Pierre Batcheff; films; lover; family; otherness; Éducation de prince; La Sirène des tropiques

Chapter.  7352 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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