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The House of Mystery (La maison du mystère)

The House of Mystery (La maison du mystère)

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Flicker Alley and the Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to present The House of Mystery (La maison du mystère) for the first time on DVD in this 3-disc DVD Edition. The 10-episode Films Albatros serial is a six-and-a-half-hour epic of stylish elegance and narrative imagination, with optional English subtitles by Lenny Borger and a brand-new score by composer Neil Brand.

Serial films, or ciné romans were well-established in France before World War I, where they are most closely identified with writer-director Louis Feuillade. These melodramas for adult audiences were unlike American serials that were targeted primarily at youngsters. At Albatros, Russian émigré producer Joseph Ermolieff produced three serials in 1921, all adapted from roman-feuilletons by the phenomenally successful Jules Mary, a specialist in the genre, who penned many a famous melodrama around the theme of the miscarriage of justice - a theme that must have had special appeal for the unjustly displaced technicians and artists of Ermolieff's Moscow and Yalta studios.

The first two serials have not left a trace in the annals of film archives. But The House of Mystery, Ermolieff's third serial, (begun in the summer of 1921 and not completed until 1923) by Alexandre Volkoff (with fellow studio director Viatcheslav Tourjansky providing some important and uncredited second-unit work), is a triumph of the genre and a complete delight that not only survived, but also was restored in its original ten-episode format by the Cinémathèque française.

The involved plot of The House of Mystery centers around Julien Villandrit (Ivan Mosjoukine) and his star-crossed courtship to Régine de Bettigny (Hélène Darly), that inspires bitterness and jealousy in Henri Corradin (Charles Vanel), Julien's long-time associate and secret rival in love. For Mosjoukine, who contracted typhoid fever during the course of production, it remains one of the ultimate consecrations to his multifarious talents as actor, writer, and even make-up artist. But the film also opened doors for Vanel (Les Misérables, The Wages of Fear, Diabolique) who gives the "Curses! Foiled again!" school of melodramatic villainy a new lease on life), and the astonishing Nicolas Koline.


  • Production Photos Slideshow - A collection of rare stills and behind-the-scenes photos from the set of The House of Mystery
  • A 12-Page Booklet - Featuring an essay and biographical material on some of the actors and artists by film historian's Lenny Borger & David Robinson
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Format: DVD
Region: REGION 1
Director: Alexandre Volkoff
Year: 1921-1923
Language: French with optional English subtitles
Length: 383 mins.
UPC: 6-17311-67819-6
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