|Image courtesy of Il Cinema Ritrovato|
The film stars Louise Brooks as Lucienne Garnier, a typist who enters a beauty contest. Georges Charlia plays Andre, Lucienne's jealous boyfriend. Augusto Bandini plays Antonin, Lucienne and Andre's friend and co-worker. Also in the cast in small roles are the French actors Jean Bradin and Gaston Jacquet. Costume design is by the famous Jean Patou.
Though at times prosaic, Prix de Beauté retains great charm and interest - largely because of Brooks. And, its ending, both striking and poetic, is considered one of the most remarkable and striking passages in film history.
"Prix de beauté represents a truly success¬ful mix of the tenants of neorealism and elaborate fantasy ..." notes film historian Paul Vecchiali in L'Encinéclopédie. Ciné¬astes "français" des années 1930 et leur œuvre. "Despite unrefined post recording and overacting by Georges Charlia, in standard silent movie fashion, the film is a masterpiece.... Genina proves it with his stark style: love and jealousy go hand in hand, gnawing away at the banality of day-to-day, which is no longer sublimated by feelings. The extraordinary beauty of light and the skill and intelligence with which it is used add other noteworthy elements, placing this movie among the most important works of the first years of talkies even though it is a silent film!"
More info: Bilingual pages on the Il Cinema Ritrovato can be found at http://www.cinetecadibologna.it/, with additional information on Prix de Beauté on this webpage.