If "Sans Famille," the picture presented today and tomorrow by the French Talking Films Committee, is any augury of the quality of coming attractions this season, it seems fairly certain that this year's series of productions has started on the read to success.
Based on Hector Malot's well-known novel of the same name, the film has its setting in France and England. With a mixture of sincerity and sentimentality it portrays the unfortunate boyhood of a kidnapped and deserted foundling who passes through a varied series of melodramatic experiences until he is finally reunited with his mother by an unusual coincidence.
Cast in the leading role of Remi Barbarin, the young Robert Lyneu gives only a mildly convincing performance. Chief honors in our opinion, are due to Vitalis, Remi's chief benefactor, and to Mattia, his companion in misfortune, who lends considerable colour and interest to the later part of the story.
Althoug it is fairly certain that an audience of Harvard men will criticize the film for its overdone melodrama and its frequent lapses into childish sentimentality, it is none the less true that "Sans Famille" is an interesting story and that the film has a definite entertainment value. Being primarily a human interest story, it succeeds, in some places, in attaining a certain degree of pathos. Typical scenes are that in which Vitalis realizes that the end of his life is near, and that in which Lady Milligan discovers that Remi is none other than her long lost son.
In general the photography and synchronization are good, although the voices of one or two actors are not well recorded and the frequent use of slang makes the dialect some what hard to understand.