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La Roue
(The Wheel)
Also known as La rosa sulle rotaie in Italy; Kolo udreki in Poland; A Roda in Portugal
(1922) French
B&W : 32 reels
Directed by Abel Gance

Cast: Séverin-Mars [Sisif], Ivy Close [Norma], Gabriel de Gravone [Elie], Pierre Magnier [Hersan], Max Maxudian [le minéralogiste Kalatikascopoulos], Georges Térof [Machefer], Gil Clary

Pathé Frères production. / Produced by Charles Pathé and Abel Gance. Scenario by Abel Gance. Art direction by Robert Boudrioz. Assistant director, Blaise Cendrars. Cinematography by Léonce-Henry Burel, with additional cinematography by Maurice Duverger, Gaston Brun and Marc Bujard. Edited by Marguerite Beaugé and Abel Gance. Music score by Arthur Honegger. / Premiered on three consecutive Thursday afternoons in December 1922 at the Gaumont-Palace theatre in Paris, France. General release, 17 February 1923. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format. / Production began on the film in 1919. Working title: La rose du rail. Originally released as a 32-reel film, presented in four parts at three separate showings: [1] “Le rose du rail” (The Rose of the Rail), first showings; [2] “La tragédie de Sisif” (The Tragedy of Sisif), second showings; and [3] “La course à l’abime” (The Race to the Abyss) and [4] “Symphonie blanche” (Symphony in White), third showings. The film was edited by Gance to twelve reels for international general release in 1924. The film was released in the United Kingdom (at approximetely 7500 feet) in 1925. Another eight-reel version was released in 1928. The film was restored by Eric Lange (of Lobster Films, Paris) and David Shepard (of Film Preservation Associates) in 2007 to approximately 20 reels.


Survival status: Incomplete prints exist [35mm master positive (the majority of the 12-reel version), 35mm positive (eight-reel version with Russian intertitles), 35mm nitrate positives (color-tinted French versions, incomplete), and 9.5mm reduction positive (French four-reel home-market version)].

Current rights holder: (unknown)

Listing updated: 16 October 2011.

References: Bardèche-History pp. 46, 105, 164-165, 178a, 225, 230, 232, 237, 301, 313; Brownlow-Parade pp. 518, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541-542, 543, 544-545, 546 : Website-IMDb.

Home video: DVD.

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