The End of the World (movie, 1931)

The End of the World is a French film directed by Abel Gance and released in 1931 ; it’s the first talking movie about Gance.


While observing the sky, Martial Novalic, a scientist, discovers a comet . The trajectory of the latter must bring it irreparably to collide with the Earth. From the new known, panic seizes the earthlings. Taking advantage of this state of mind, the astronomer decides to proclaim a universal republic. But the comet only scratches the surface of the earth …

Technical sheet

  • Title: The End of the World
  • Director: Abel Gance
  • Scenario: Abel Gance, Jean Boyer , HS Kraft , based on a story by Camille Flammarion
  • Chief operator: Maurice Forster , Roger Hubert , Jules Kruger , Nikolas Roudakoff
  • Music: Arthur Honegger , Maurice Martenot , Michel Michelet
  • Editing: Mrs. Bruyère , Mrs. Marguerite
  • Assistant Director: Edmond T. Gréville
  • Artistic direction: Cesar Lacca , Lazare Meerson , Walter Ruttmann
  • Production: K. Ivanoff
  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  France :


  • Abel Gance: Jean Novalic
  • Colette Darfeuil : Genevieve of Murcia
  • Sylvie Gance : Isabelle Bolin
  • Jeanne Brindeau : me Novalic
  • Samson Fainsilber : Schomburg
  • Georges Colin Werster
  • Jean d’Yd : M. de Murcia
  • Victor Francen : Martial Novalic
  • Albert Bras
  • Vanda Gréville
  • Major Heitner : the doctor
  • Philippe Hersent
  • L. Laumon
  • Monique Rolland
  • Saint-Allier
  • Aleksandr Vertinsky


The reception was very bad, in the public and in the critics, for example Philippe Soupault and Denis Marion 1 .

Gance, who had seen his film shortened and mutilated (from three hours he was reduced to 105 minutes), disavowed him. But this failure deprived Gance, who had to turn to a more conventional cinema, of his freedom of creation.

The film was again amputated and betrayed in its American version, decked out with the falsely suggestive title Paris after dark .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Abel Gance and Roger Icart Abel Gance: The Blasted or Prometheus , vol.  6 of History and Theory of Cinema , The Age of Man, 1983, p.  219 and following. Read online on Google Books

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