Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, October 12, 2021


 Gaston Leroux may be best known for his novel The Phantom of the Opera, but he was also the creator of newpaperman/detective Joseph Rouletabille, the sleuth in seven novels beginning with Le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune in 1907.  As with Phantom, the Yellow Room has been filmed a number of times.  This 1919 silent was produced and directed by Emile Chautard, who also wrote the adaptation of Leroux's novel.  Chautard (1864 [or 1881, sources vary]-1934) began his film career in France in 1907, and moved to America in 1915; IMDb lists 109 directing credits for him from 1910 to 1924.

This print of The Mystery of the Yellow Room was the only full print of the film I could find on the internet, admittedly after a rather hasty search.  This is a Spanish release with the title cards writteen in Spanish.  Nonetheless you should be able to follow the plot easily.  To help you, here is the plot summary from The Silent Film channel:

"Mathilde Stangerson delays marrying Robert Darzac, as she wants to continue to aid her father, a scientist, in his experiments.  Later, on the evening of her engagement announcement, Mathilde leaves her father in his laboratory at midnight, and goes to her adjoining yellow room.  The professor, hearing gunshots and screaming, breaks Mathilde's lock door to find her bloodied, and the room in disarray, with papers of their studies stolen.  How the assailant escaped the room, with a locked door and windows secured with iron shutters, is a mystery which baffles the reknowned police detective Frederic Larsan, and the cub reporter Rouletbille, assigned to the case.  While Larsan investigates at the house, throfessor's gamekeeper is murdered.  Although clues lead to Robert, who, when arrested, refuses to explain his actions, Rouletabille returns from America to interrupt the trial with the solution to the mystery and prove [******] is the killer."

Featuring William Walcott as Professor Stangerson, Edmund Elton as Darzac, George Cowl as Inspector Larsan, Ethel Grey Terry as Mathilde, and Lorin Raker as Rouletabille.

Enjoy this classic mystery.

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