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02 November 2014

Régine Dumien

Sweet 'little angel' Régine Dumien (1914-1979) was a popular child star of the French silent cinema of the early 1920s.

Regine Dumien
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 111. Photo: Studio Rahma.

Régine Dumien
French postcard in the Les Vedettes de Cinéma series by Editions A.N., Paris, no. 101. Photo: Sartony.

To Be Or Not To Be


Régina France Dumien was born in Paris, France, in 1914. Six years later, she already made her film debut in the title role of Petit ange/Little Angel (Luitz-Morat, Pierre Régnier, 1920). Her role and the film were a huge success.

Famous film critic Louis Delluc wrote in the journal Paris-Midi (30-12-1920): "This pleasant film comedy represents the intelligent assimilation of the average American cinema. A detailed technique, a funny idea and ingeniously developed, a frank, lively, precise drawing, with taste, movement, and simplicity."

The following year, the 6-year-old Régine had a small part in a film by the famous avant-garde director Germaine Dulac, La mort du soleil/The Death of the Sun (1921) starring André Nox.

She then appeared with Rita Jolivet and Gabriel Signoret in the Film d’Art production Roger la Honte/Roger the Shame (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1922). That year she also appeared in the popular film serial Mysteries of Paris/Mysteries of Paris (Charles Burguet, 1922) in the role of the young Fleur-de-Marie, played as an adult by Huguette Duflos.

She played the title role of La loupiote (Georges Hatot, 1922), written by Arthur Bernède and Aristide Bruant. In the Pathé Frères drama Être ou ne pas être/To Be of Not To Be (René Leprince, 1922), she starred opposite Léon Mathot and Renée Sylvaire.

Régine Dumien
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 130.

Régine Dumien_Comoedia (Nos Artistes dans leur Loge; 18)
French postcard in the series Nos artistes dans leur loge, no. 18. Photo: Comoedia. Collection: Manuel Palomino Arjona (Performing Arts / Artes Escénicas).

Pathé Baby


In 1923 Régine Dumien featured in the sequel to her first film: Petit ange et son pantin/Little Angel and her Puppet (Luitz-Morat, 1923).

That same year the now 9-years-old star could be seen in the Pathé Baby shorts La Tartine/Bread and Jam (1923) and Le Bon Oncle/The Good Uncle (1923) about an uncle who enjoys a beautiful siesta after lunch, but then has to cope with Régine's frolics.

In 1924 she appeared in four films: L'ombre du bonheur/The Shadow of Happiness (Gaston Roudès, 1924) with France Dhélia, Le chemin de Roseland/The Road of Roseland (Maurice Gleize, 1924), La joueuse d'orgue/The Organ Player (Charles Burguet, 1924), and Grand-mère/Grandmother (Albert-Francis Bertoni, 1924) with Constant Rémy.

This would also be her last film. Why stopped her film career then, when she was only 10 years old? The only further information on Régine Dumien that I could find on the web is that she died in 1979, in Villepinte, France, at the age of 64.

Renée Sylvaire
Renée Sylvaire. French postcard. Photo: Eclair.

France Dhélia
France Dhélia. French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 122.

Sources: Henri Bousquet (De Pathé Frères à Pathé Cinéma), Grahame L. Newnham (Pathe Film), and IMDb.

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