Silent Film’s Thieves, Jewel Robberies and Cases of the Lost Glove

Introduced by Christel Tsilibaris, festival’s Associate Curator and an independent curator specialising in the film and media arts. With live musical accompaniment.

Thefts, disguises, investigations, chases and returns to order play an important part in silent film and film serials. Christel Tsilibaris will provide guidance through this selection of charismatic films in which garments and jewels are placed at the centre of the narrative, either as objects of desire or forensic clues. This programme promises private detectives, gangs of thieves, and a mondain conman successfully removing a necklace from a wealthy society woman. A glove will be left behind on the scene of the crime and, in Henri d’Ursel’s “surrealist film,” homage will be paid to Musidora’s body suit.


A Man With White Gloves (L’homme aux gants blancs)

France 1908. Dir Albert Capellani. With Henri Desfontaines, Marguerite Brésil. 35mm.


The Gentleman Thief (aka Max Leads Them a Novel Chase ; Le voleur mondain)

France 1909. Dir Louis Gasnier. With Max Linder. 16mm.


Nick Winter and the Case of the Famous Hotel (Nick Winter et l'affaire du Célébric Hôtel )

France 1911, Dir Gérard Bourgeois. With Georges Vinter. 35mm.


The Pearl (La Perle)

Belgium 1929. Dir Henri d’Ursel. With Georges Hugnet, Kissa Kouprine. 35mm. Run time: c. 60 min.


See also:

The Colour of Nothingness: costumes of invisibility and transformation in early detective films and literature, illustrated lecture by Tom Gunning

Ciné lumière Sunday 18 May 2008, 17:00