Fescourt, Henri

(1880-1966)
   Director and screenwriter. Henri Fescourt began his career as a journalist. He was recruited to Gaumont by Louis Feuillade in 1908 or so, initially as a screenwriter, although he shortly thereafter turned his hand to directing. Since film credits were rarely used during the silent-film era, it is not known precisely which films he worked on at Gaumont. However, it is known that he began directing in about 1912.
   Fescourt directed an impressive number of films during the silent-film era, including early films such as Le Mensonge (1912), Le Bonheur perdu (1912), Un grand seigneur (1912), La Bienfaitrice (1912), La Lumière qui tue (1913), La Mort sur Paris (1913), Son passé (1913), Les Trois ombres (1914), Petit coeur d'enfant (1914), Fille de prince (1914), Maman (1914), and L'Affaire du collier noir (1914).
   His career was interrupted by World War I, but he resumed it without much difficulty afterwards, specializing in film serials, notably Rouletabille, which ran from 1922 to 1923. Other postwar films include Les Grands (1924), Mandrin (1924), Un fils d'Amérique (1925), Les Misérables (1925), La Maison du Maltais (1927), L'Occident (1927), and Monte-Cristo (1929). Of these, his best film is no doubt Les Misérables, which stars Gabriel Gabrio as Jean Valjean.
   Fescourt made a handful of films in the sound era, including La Maison de la flèche (1930), Service de nuit (1931), Serments (1931), a sound remake of L'Occident (1937), Bar du sud(1938), and Retour de flamme (1943). However, he never seemed to quite find his footing in sound film. He finished his career teaching at Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques (IDHEC) and writing on the cinema.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

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