Abel Gance

Abel Gance

Abel Gance was a French film director, producer, writer and actor. A pioneer in the theory and practice of montage, he is best known for three major silent films: J'accuse (1919), La Roue (1923), and Napoléon (1927). He was born in Paris in 1889. In 1909, he acted in his first film. He also wrote scenarios, and often sold them to Gaumont. During this period he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, fatal at the time, but he recovered. In 1911, with some friends he established a production company, Le Film Français, and began directing his own films. With the outbreak of WW I, rejected by the army on medical grounds, he started writing and directing for a new film company, Film d'Art until 1918, making over a dozen successful films. Charles Pathé underwrote his next film, J'accuse (1919), in which Gance confronted the waste and suffering which the war had brought. In 1920, he developed La Roue. He brought an unprecedented level of energy and imagination to the technical realization of his story, employing elaborate editing techniques and innovative use of rapid cutting which made the film highly influential. The finished film ran for nearly nine hours, but was edited down for distribution. In 1921, Gance visited America to promote J'accuse. He met D. W. Griffith, whom he had long admired. He was also offered a contract with MGM but turned it down. He then embarked on his greatest project, a six-part life of Napoléon. Only the first part was completed, tracing his early life, through the Revolution, up to the invasion of Italy, but even this occupied a vast canvas with meticulously recreated historical scenes and scores of characters. The film was full of experimental techniques, combining rapid cutting, hand-held cameras, superimposition of images, and, in wide-screen sequences, shot using a system he called Polyvision needing triple cameras (and projectors), achieved a spectacular panoramic effect, including a finale in which the outer two film panels were tinted blue and red, creating a widescreen image of a French flag. The original version ran for around 6 hours. A shortened version received a triumphant première at the Paris Opéra in April 1927. Throughout his life he kept returning to Napoléon, editing his footage, and as a result the original 1927 film was lost from view for decades. The dedicated work of the film historian Kevin Brownlow produced a five-hour version, still incomplete but fuller than anyone had seen since the 1920s. It was presented at the Telluride Film Festival in 1979, and the occasion brought a belated triumph to Gance's career, and made his name known to a worldwide audience. In the assessment of Kevin Brownlow, "...[Abel Gance] made a fuller use of the medium than anyone before or since". As well as his multiscreen ventures with Polyvision, he explored the use of superimposition of images, extreme close-ups, fast rhythmic editing, and he made the camera mobile in unorthodox ways – hand-held, mounted on wires or a pendulum, or even strapped to a horse. He also made early experiments with the addition of sound to film, and with filming in color and in 3-D. There were few aspects of film technique that he did not seek to incorporate in his work, and his influence was acknowledged by contemporaries and later by the French New Wave film-makers.

  • Title: Abel Gance
  • Popularity: 4.255
  • Known For: Directing
  • Birthday: 1889-10-25
  • Place of Birth: Paris, France
  • Homepage:
  • Also Known As: 아벨 강스, Abel Perthon
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Abel Gance Movies

  • 1931
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    End of the World

    End of the World

    4.8 1931 HD

    The plot concerns a comet hurling toward Earth on a collision course and the different reactions to people on the impending disaster.

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  • 1910
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    Molière

    Molière

    5.2 1910 HD

    A film about the life of Molière (1622-1673).

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  • 1930
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    Around the End of the World

    Around the End of the World

    5 1930 HD

    An 18-minute silent documentary on the making of the 1931 Abel Gance directed film, "La Fin Du Monde".

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  • 1928
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    The Fall of the House of Usher

    The Fall of the House of Usher

    7.073 1928 HD

    A stranger called Allan goes to the House of Usher. He is the sole friend of Roderick Usher, who lives in the eerie house with his sick wife...

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  • 1927
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    Napoléon

    Napoléon

    7.8 1927 HD

    A biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte, tracing the Corsican's career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign) to his...

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  • 1963
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    Abel Gance, Yesterday and Tomorrow

    Abel Gance, Yesterday and Tomorrow

    6 1963 HD

    The life and work of Abel Gance as told by himself. Includes extracts from many of his films and considers his contribution to the cinema.

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  • 1968
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    Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite

    Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite

    1 1968 HD

    BBC documentary on the long and flamboyant career of French filmmaker Abel Gance.

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  • 1935
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    Napoléon Bonaparte

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    8 1935 HD

    A second version of Gance's Napoléon, with sound.

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  • 1923
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    La Roue

    La Roue

    7.2 1923 HD

    Sisif, a railwayman, saves a young girl named Norma orphaned by a train crash and raises her as his own daughter alongside his son, Elie. As she...

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  • 1923
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    Autour de la roue

    Autour de la roue

    7 1923 HD

    Blaise Cendrars' AUTOUR DE LA ROUE (1923), a behind-the-scenes short documenting the production.

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  • 1972
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    Bonaparte et la révolution

    Bonaparte et la révolution

    1 1972 HD

    Abel Gance's 1971 sound edition of his epic 1927 'Napoleon', which contains much of the silent original, with new material shot and added in both...

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  • 1931
    imgMovies

    End of the World

    End of the World

    4.8 1931 HD

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  • 1931
    imgMovies

    End of the World

    End of the World

    4.8 1931 HD

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  • 1927
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    Napoléon

    Napoléon

    7.8 1927 HD

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  • 1927
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    Napoléon

    Napoléon

    7.8 1927 HD

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  • 1924
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    Au Secours !

    Au Secours !

    6.6 1924 HD

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  • 1939
    imgMovies

    Paradis perdu

    Paradis perdu

    6.107 1939 HD

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  • 1935
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    Lucrezia Borgia

    Lucrezia Borgia

    5.2 1935 HD

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  • 1943
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    Captain Fracasse

    Captain Fracasse

    6.4 1943 HD

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  • 1935
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    The Queen and the Cardinal

    The Queen and the Cardinal

    6 1935 HD

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  • 1923
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    La Roue

    La Roue

    7.2 1923 HD

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  • 1923
    imgMovies

    La Roue

    La Roue

    7.2 1923 HD

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  • 1960
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    The Battle of Austerlitz

    The Battle of Austerlitz

    6.7 1960 HD

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  • 1960
    imgMovies

    The Battle of Austerlitz

    The Battle of Austerlitz

    6.7 1960 HD

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  • 1919
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    J'accuse

    J'accuse

    7.444 1919 HD

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  • 1955
    imgMovies

    Tower of Lust

    Tower of Lust

    4.9 1955 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    Barberousse

    Barberousse

    5 1917 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    Barberousse

    Barberousse

    5 1917 HD

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  • 1938
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    I Accuse

    I Accuse

    6.333 1938 HD

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  • 1964
    imgMovies

    Cyrano and d'Artagnan

    Cyrano and d'Artagnan

    5.8 1964 HD

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  • 1964
    imgMovies

    Cyrano and d'Artagnan

    Cyrano and d'Artagnan

    5.8 1964 HD

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  • 1924
    imgMovies

    Au Secours !

    Au Secours !

    6.6 1924 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    The Madness of Dr. Tube

    The Madness of Dr. Tube

    5.167 1915 HD

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  • 1924
    imgMovies

    Au Secours !

    Au Secours !

    6.6 1924 HD

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  • 1917
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    The Torture of Silence

    The Torture of Silence

    5.2 1917 HD

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  • 1910
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    Molière

    Molière

    5.2 1910 HD

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  • 1937
    imgMovies

    The Life and Loves of Beethoven

    The Life and Loves of Beethoven

    6.8 1937 HD

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  • 1937
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    The Life and Loves of Beethoven

    The Life and Loves of Beethoven

    6.8 1937 HD

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  • 1941
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    Blind Venus

    Blind Venus

    6.1 1941 HD

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  • 1941
    imgMovies

    Blind Venus

    Blind Venus

    6.1 1941 HD

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  • 1918
    imgMovies

    The Tenth Symphony

    The Tenth Symphony

    6.357 1918 HD

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  • 1918
    imgMovies

    The Tenth Symphony

    The Tenth Symphony

    6.357 1918 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    The Right to Life

    The Right to Life

    1 1917 HD

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  • 1934
    imgMovies

    La Dame aux camélias

    La Dame aux camélias

    1 1934 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    The Madness of Dr. Tube

    The Madness of Dr. Tube

    5.167 1915 HD

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  • 1923
    imgMovies

    La Roue

    La Roue

    7.2 1923 HD

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  • 1939
    imgMovies

    Louise

    Louise

    5.3 1939 HD

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  • 1927
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    Napoléon

    Napoléon

    7.8 1927 HD

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  • 1954
    imgMovies

    Queen Margot

    Queen Margot

    6.8 1954 HD

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  • 1933
    imgMovies

    The Ironmaster

    The Ironmaster

    5.5 1933 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Le Roman d'un jeune homme pauvre

    Le Roman d'un jeune homme pauvre

    6.6 1935 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Le Roman d'un jeune homme pauvre

    Le Roman d'un jeune homme pauvre

    6.6 1935 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    The Right to Life

    The Right to Life

    1 1917 HD

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  • 1933
    imgMovies

    Mater Dolorosa

    Mater Dolorosa

    1 1933 HD

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  • 1938
    imgMovies

    The Woman Thief

    The Woman Thief

    1 1938 HD

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  • 1910
    imgMovies

    Jephté's Daughter

    Jephté's Daughter

    1 1910 HD

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  • 1923
    imgMovies

    La Roue

    La Roue

    7.2 1923 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    8 1935 HD

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  • 1919
    imgMovies

    J'accuse

    J'accuse

    7.444 1919 HD

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  • 1912
    imgMovies

    The Mask of Horror

    The Mask of Horror

    1 1912 HD

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  • 1934
    imgMovies

    Poliche

    Poliche

    1 1934 HD

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  • 1912
    imgMovies

    The Mask of Horror

    The Mask of Horror

    1 1912 HD

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  • 1972
    imgMovies

    Bonaparte et la révolution

    Bonaparte et la révolution

    1 1972 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    La zone de la mort

    La zone de la mort

    1 1917 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Deadly Gas

    Deadly Gas

    5 1916 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Deadly Gas

    Deadly Gas

    5 1916 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    The Torture of Silence

    The Torture of Silence

    5.2 1917 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    The Queen and the Cardinal

    The Queen and the Cardinal

    6 1935 HD

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  • 1938
    imgMovies

    I Accuse

    I Accuse

    6.333 1938 HD

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  • 1943
    imgMovies

    Captain Fracasse

    Captain Fracasse

    6.4 1943 HD

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  • 1912
    imgMovies

    A Tragic Love of Mona Lisa

    A Tragic Love of Mona Lisa

    1 1912 HD

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  • 1958
    imgMovies

    Magirama

    Magirama

    1 1958 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Lucrezia Borgia

    Lucrezia Borgia

    5.2 1935 HD

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  • 1919
    imgMovies

    J'accuse

    J'accuse

    7.444 1919 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    8 1935 HD

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  • 1935
    imgMovies

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    Napoléon Bonaparte

    8 1935 HD

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  • 1929
    imgMovies

    Napoleon at St. Helena

    Napoleon at St. Helena

    4.833 1929 HD

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  • 1917
    imgMovies

    La zone de la mort

    La zone de la mort

    1 1917 HD

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  • 1923
    imgMovies

    Tillers of the Soil

    Tillers of the Soil

    1 1923 HD

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  • 1928
    imgMovies

    Marines et cristeaux

    Marines et cristeaux

    1 1928 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Le périscope

    Le périscope

    1 1916 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Le périscope

    Le périscope

    1 1916 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    L'héroïsme de Paddy

    L'héroïsme de Paddy

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    L'héroïsme de Paddy

    L'héroïsme de Paddy

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Le fou de la falaise

    Le fou de la falaise

    1 1916 HD

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  • 1916
    imgMovies

    Le fou de la falaise

    Le fou de la falaise

    1 1916 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    L'énigme de dix heures

    L'énigme de dix heures

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    L'énigme de dix heures

    L'énigme de dix heures

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    Un drame au château d'Acre

    Un drame au château d'Acre

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1915
    imgMovies

    Un drame au château d'Acre

    Un drame au château d'Acre

    1 1915 HD

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  • 1914
    imgMovies

    L'infirmière

    L'infirmière

    1 1914 HD

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  • 1911
    imgMovies

    La Digue

    La Digue

    1 1911 HD

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  • 1911
    imgMovies

    La Digue

    La Digue

    1 1911 HD

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  • 1909
    imgMovies

    Le portrait de Mireille

    Le portrait de Mireille

    1 1909 HD

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  • 1933
    imgMovies

    Mater Dolorosa

    Mater Dolorosa

    1 1933 HD

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  • 1955
    imgMovies

    Tower of Lust

    Tower of Lust

    4.9 1955 HD

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  • 1956
    imgMovies

    I Accuse! [Magirama]

    I Accuse! [Magirama]

    1 1956 HD

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  • 1972
    imgMovies

    Bonaparte et la révolution

    Bonaparte et la révolution

    1 1972 HD

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  • 2024
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    Napoléon vu par Abel Gance Partie 1 : La jeunesse de Bonaparte

    Napoléon vu par Abel Gance Partie 1 : La jeunesse de Bonaparte

    1 2024 HD

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  • 2024
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    Napoléon vu par Abel Gance Partie 2 : Napoléon et la Révolution française

    Napoléon vu par Abel Gance Partie 2 : Napoléon et la Révolution française

    1 2024 HD

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  • 1939
    imgMovies

    Paradis perdu

    Paradis perdu

    6.107 1939 HD

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  • 1956
    imgS10 E7

    Cinépanorama

    Cinépanorama

    8 1956 HD

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  • 1978
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    Encyclopédie audiovisuelle du cinéma

    Encyclopédie audiovisuelle du cinéma

    1 1978 HD

    Produced for television by Claude-Jean Philippe, the « Encyclopédie audiovisuelle du cinéma », recounts the history of...

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  • 1974
    imgS24 E16

    Spécial cinéma

    Spécial cinéma

    1 1974 HD

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  • 1970
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    Spécial cinéma

    Spécial cinéma

    1 1970 HD

    Based on the play by Victor Hugo, portraying the rise, fall and execution of Fabiano Fabiani, a fictional favourite of Mary I of England.

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  • 1970
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    Spécial cinéma

    Spécial cinéma

    1 1970 HD

    Based on the play by Victor Hugo, portraying the rise, fall and execution of Fabiano Fabiani, a fictional favourite of Mary I of England.

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