Gypsy Passion (1922)

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World War I stunted the progress of cinema in Europe for several years and the French were still trying to catch up in 1922. This romantic melodrama, directed by Louis Mercanton, was not as technically advanced as American made films and had to be edited for U.S. consumption, but it had several strong points -- it was filmed on location at a real French chateau, and its star, Madame Rejane, was a contemporary of Sarah Bernhardt, and one of the most famous European actresses of her generation. This picture, in fact, was Rejane's last screen appearance -- she died shortly after completing her role. Romany Kate (Rejane), her orphaned granddaughter, Miarka (Desdemona Mazza), and their pet bear live on the estate of Count de la Roque (Jean Richepin), who is interested in Gypsy lore. Kate reads Miarka's fortune and sees that she is destined to marry the chief of the Gypsies. This puts a dent in Miarka's romance with the Count's nephew, Ivor (Ivor Novello), who has recently come home from college. The estate's gamekeeper, Louis (Charles Vanel), is also in love with Miarka. He steals money from the Count's chateau and allows the blame to fall on Kate. She is arrested and Louis tries to abduct Miarka, who has been left alone. But the bear attacks and mortally wounds him. As he is dying, Louis admits to the theft and Kate is freed. She and Miarka visit a Gypsy shrine, followed by the Count and Ivor. There it is revealed that Ivor is the long lost Gypsy chief, and he and Miarka are united. In addition to his role as the Count, Jean Richepin was also the author of the book on which this film was based, Miarka, the Child of the Bear.



book, fortune [wealth], granddaughter, gypsy, jilted, magic, marriage, prediction