Mater Dolorosa (1917)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Marriage Drama  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Hardly one of French filmmaker Abel Gance's masterpieces, The Torture of Silence nevertheless has more dramatic and psychological value than your average romantic-triangle tale. Simply put, the film concerns a doctor, his wife, and his brother. The doctor, a specialist in pediatrics, has no time for his wife Marthe (played by Emmy Lynn, then the wife of prominent French director Henry Roussell). She seeks solace in the arms of his brother. Unable to keep up the charade, Marthe attempts to shoot herself, but it is her lover who is mortally wounded. To save her from disgrace, the dying lover hastily scrawls a suicide note, but the doctor comes across a compromising letter written by Marthe. Suspecting that his son Pierre is actually illegitimate, the doctor removes the child to parts unknown. He refuses to reveal Pierre's whereabouts until Marthe tells him who her mysterious lover is (or was). Even when Pierre falls ill, the doctor remains adamant. The anguished Marie confesses all, which so moves the doctor that he finally decides to behave like a human being. Originally titled Mater Dolorosa, Torture of Silence was reportedly France's biggest moneymaking film of 1917.

Characteristics

Themes

Keywords

brother, confession [admission], extramarital-affair, love-triangle, son, suicide-attempt

Attributes

High Artistic Quality