La fin du monde (End of the World) (1931)

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Never one to do anything by halves, director Abel Gance delivers just what the title La Fin du Monde promises: The End of the World. As a comet speeds along on a collision course with Planet Earth, the world prays for a miracle. Scientist Victor Francen races against time to avoid the cataclysm, while Francen's religious-fanatic brother (played by director Gance) puts his fate in the hands of God. Meanwhile, the governments of the world adopt near-fascistic methods to keep their panicking minions under control. Once all hope is abandoned, virtually all of civilization degenerates into a drunken orgy, replete with rape and bestiality. The worst is reserved for last, as the ever-approaching comet causes a plethora of natural disasters before the final "Big Bang." For its premiere engagements in 1929, La Fin du Monde was outfitted with a primitive but effective stereophonic-sound system, the aural equivalent to Abel Gance's Cinerama-like "Triptychs" in his 1927 masterpiece Napoleon. With his typical flair for the messianic, Gance originally released his film as Abel Gance's La Fin du Monde. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Colette Darfeuil
as Germaine de Murcie
Abel Gance
as Jean Novalic
Jeanne Brindau
as Madame Novalic
Victor Francen
as Martial Novalic
Jean D'Yd
as Monsieur de Murcie
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