France 1928. Dir Marcel L'Herbier.

France 1928. Dir Marcel L’Herbier.

With Brigitte Helm, Marie Glory, Pierre Alcover.

Costumes Jacques Manuel.

Against the backdrop of lavish art deco interiors, this modernisation of Zola’s 1890 novel weaves together romantic intrigue and financial speculation. L’Herbier spared no expense in recreating the frenzied energy of the stock exchange trading floor while his costume designer Jacques Manuel realised a stunning wardrobe which, he boasted, anticipated ‘la ligne feminine idéale’ that was to typify 1930s elegance. High-octane, well-dressed wheeling and dealing, as topical today as when it was released in 1928, just before the Great Crash. The most monumental of L’Herbier’s films, L’Argent is widely recognised as a silent masterpiece.