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14 October 2014

Alice Field

French actress Alice Field (1903-1969) started out in the silent film era. Her career got on steam in the 1930s, when she starred in several French language versions of German film classics.

Alice Field
French postcard by EC, no. 67. Photo: Film Pathé-Nathan.

Atlantis


Alice Field was born as Alice Fille in Alger, Algeria in 1903.

She made her film debut opposite Saint-Granier in the silent production Villa Destin (Marcel L’Herbier, 1921), based on a play by Oscar Wilde. That same year she played the second wife of a well-to-do Algerian (Marcel Vibert) in Visages voilés... âmes closes/The Sheik's Wife (Henry Roussel, 1921).

She then focused in stage work, but returned to the cinema when sound film was introduced. She played the wife of Constant Rémy in Atlantis (Ewald André Dupont, Jean Kemm, 1930), a heavily fictionalized version of the RMS Titanic story. It was filmed simultaneously with the English-language version Atlantic (1929), the-German language version Atlantik (1929) and the silent version Atlantic (1929).

Her film career got on steam. The following years Field appeared in several films including La maison de La Flèche/The house of La Flèche (Henri Fescourt, 1930) with Annabella, Le refuge/The Refuge (Léon Mathot, 1931) and Vous serez ma femme/You Will Be My Wife (Carl Boese, Serge de Poligny, 1932) with Roger Tréville. The latter was the alternative language version of the Ufa comedy Der Frechdachs/The Cheeky Devil (Carl Boese, Heinz Hille, 1932) with Willy Fritsch and Camilla Horn.

Throughout the 1930s, Field played leading and supporting roles in a dozen French films. Most of them were run-of–the-mill, but quite watchable are Cette vieille canaille/The Old Rogue (Anatole Litvak, 1933) featuring Harry Baur, and the crime drama Police mondaine/Worldly Police (Michel Bernheim, Christian Chamborant, 1937), in which she starred opposite Charles Vanel and Pierre Larquey.

Alice Field
French postcard by P.C., Paris, no. 27.

Alice Field
French postcard by P.C., Paris, no. 27.

Playtime


Alice Field starred in the spectacle Le tigre du Bengale/The Tiger of Eschnapur (Richard Eichberg, 1938) and the sequel Le tombeau hindou/The Indian Tomb (Richard Eichberg, 1938). These were the French language versions of the German two-parter Das indische Grabmal (Richard Eichberg, 1938) and Der Tiger von Eschnapur (Richard Eichberg, 1938).

These films were remakes of Joe May's 1919 silent films of the same name. Both versions were based on a novel by Thea Von Harbou, at one time the wife of director Fritz Lang. In turn, both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das Indische Grabmal were remade in 1959 by Fritz Lang.

During the 1940s, Field continued to star in French films. Among her films were Campement 13/Camp 13 (Jacques Constant, 1940), and the comedy La loi du printemps/The law of spring (Jacques Daniel-Norman, 1942) with Pierre Renoir.

After the war, she kept busy although her parts became smaller. Among her films of the 1950s and 1960s are the comedy drama Au p'tit zouave/The little Zouave (Gilles Grangier, 1950) starring François Périer, the Euro-spy film Pleins feux sur Stanislas/Killer Spy (Jean-Charles Dudrumet, 1965) starring Jean Marais, and the romance Un garçon, une fille. Le dix-septième ciel/A boy, a girl. The seventeenth sky (Serge Korber, 1966) with Jean Louis Trintignant and Marie Dubois.

She continued to play roles on stage and also on television, like in the series Au théâtre ce soir/On stage tonight (1966-1970). Her final film appearance was a small part in the classic comedy Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967) with Jacques Tati as Monsieur Hulot.

Alice Field died in 1969 in Paris. She was 66.

Alice Field
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 974. Photo: Pathé Natan.

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

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