L'Ordonnance (1921)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - France  |  
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Although this French-made picture had excellent literary credentials -- it was based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant -- it was crudely made and the roles were overacted, by the American standards of the day. Its theme, thoroughly European in nature, was also considered too morbid for American audiences. It tells of Jeanne (Nathalie Kavanko), who kills herself in her bathtub. Her body is found by her husband, Colonel de Limousin, and an orderly (Paul Hubert). Shortly afterwards, the colonel receives a letter written by his dead wife which explains the events leading up to her suicide. The film relates it all, flashback style, from her days as an orphan, when she was adopted by de Limousin and their subsequent marriage. Jeanne falls in love with another officer and they have an affair. The orderly was used as a messenger between the two but he also falls in love with Jeanne. Jeanne killed herself because she was afraid that the orderly would reveal his secret once she rejected him. de Limousin calls for the orderly and demands to know the identity of the other man. When the orderly refuses to tell him, de Limousin kills him.