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Richelieu (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed byAllan Dwan
Written byEdward Bulwer-Lytton
Allan Dwan
StarringMurdock MacQuarrie
William C. Dowlan
Pauline Bush
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 26, 1914 (1914-09-26)
Running time
6 reels
later recut to 4 reels[1]
CountryUnited States

Richelieu is a 1914 American silent Historical drama film written and directed by Allan Dwan, based on the play "Richelieu" written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It featured Lon Chaney, Murdock MacQuarrie and Pauline Bush. This was Allan Dwan's last film for Universal, as he moved to New York afterward to work at the Famous Players Company and married his lead actress Pauline Bush in 1915.[2]

Originally released in March of 1914 at six reels in length (making it Chaney's first full-length feature), Universal eventually cut it down to four reels and put it out on Sept. 26, 1914 as part of its regular programme of pictures. Upon viewing the original 6-reel version, Moving Picture World had written in their review, "A six-reel production of the celebrated Cardinal Richelieu, following the lines of the famous play by that name.... The plot is a highly interesting one toward the close, but the action in the first three reels is rather slow and confusing. This would have been much stronger as either a three or four reel production." The film is now considered to be lost. Neither the 6-reel nor the 4-reel version survives. [3][4]


In 17th-century France, Cardinal Richelieu sends Adrien de Mauprat, who is in love with Richelieu's ward Julie de Mortemar, off to fight the Spanish, as punishment for his disobedience in an earlier military conflict. Baradas (Lon Chaney), a favorite of King Louis XVI, is also in love with Julie, and envies de Mauprat's victories when he winds up winning in battle and returning home a hero. Baradas convinces de Mauprat that the cardinal is plotting against him and draws him into a scheme to kill the cardinal and seize the throne. Richelieu learns of the plot and De Mauprat is imprisoned and sentenced to be executed. Julie pleads for the release of her lover and winds up getting permission to marry him, and de Mauprat is released. Baradas is imprisoned instead, Julie winds up marrying de Mauprat, and Richelieu is restored to power.



Motion Picture News wrote: "It is hardly necessary to say that (Allan Dwan) has succeeded in really reproducing this section from this momentous and troubling time in France.....Mr. MacQuarrie's portrayal of Richelieu is really a fine piece of acting." Moving Picture World wrote: "This finely photographed four-reel production of "Richelieu", besides being good entertainment, has a pleasing historical interest...The costuming is pleasing throughout this production, the photography is exceptionally smooth and inviting, and the choice of settings admirable."[5]


  1. ^ Mirsalis, Jon C. "Richelieu". Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Silent Era: Richelieu". silentera. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Mirsalis, Jon C. "Richelieu". Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  4. ^ Lombardi p.32-33
  5. ^ Mirsalis, Jon C. "Richelieu". Retrieved October 10, 2020.


  • Frederic Lombardi. Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios. McFarland, 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 June 2021, at 17:34
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