Possible Sounds of Early Cinema

Major Mura

1928, silent film, comedy, runtime: 62 minutes
music: Sillyconductor

An interwar comedy, directed by lawyer Ion Timuș, cinematography by Leo Schwedler,  with a screenplay by actor Jean Georgescu, who adapts the libretto of the operetta “The Happy Heirs” by Winterberg.

A Lubitsch-like lyrical and burlesque comedy (…) helped pave the way for the first comic talkies (…). ( Dominique Nasta, “Contemporary Romanian Cinema: The History of an Unexpected Miracle”, Columbia University Press, 2013)

It is an appealing comedy where the elements of a military vaudeville – the love affairs of two officers and their subordinates, arrived in a village for manoeuvres – mingle with the typical quid pro quos of a lounge vaudeville (an identity switch, a tricky inheritance and the deserved happy-end). Lyrical fantasy, but also with a steady humour, of critical and public acclaim. (Călin Căliman, “The History of Romanian Film”, 3rd edition, Contemporanul Publishing House, 2017)

In the demure rural scenery of dusty crossroads, where unabashed troops show up to seek quartering for the autumn manoeuvres – grandiosity styled ironically by the mean of camera angle (…) The closest benchmark for the film would rather be the traditional anti-military humour of Romanian literature, revived under the guise of soft charade through the sketches of Gh. Brăescu, published sequentially throughout the 20s and preferred reading for Jean Georgescu. (…) We are witnessing the first Romanian film with actors where the staged tableau is sometimes a film frame with a specific function, producing itself ideas – in this case, gags. (Valerian Sava, “Critical History of Contemporary Romanian Film”, vol. 1, Meridiane Publishing House, 1999)