Feature Drama | 1930 | Sound | B/W
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Drama in industrial Germany 1930's
[French, not subtitled ->]
A steam train arrives at the station. On a bench on the platform sit two women (mother and daughter). The young woman is about to leave, taking the next train. They both are sad, talk. An incoming train whistles; people on the benches (including mother and daughter) get up and go to the tracks. The train arrives, a man jumps out, the daughter boards. -
[French, subtitled ->]
In the French mine. Workers load a tipper and push it along the tracks in the tunnels. A worker at a brick wall with thermometer. A worker is filling explosives in two holes and connects the fuses. The blasting: miners walk out of range, a miner shouts "Attention!"; a miner kneels on the ground and triggers off the blasting. A bang. Smoke fills the tunnel slowly. - The thermometer at the brick wall. Miner examining it closely. Suddenly he jerks and runs away: A hole in the brick wall opens, smoke comes out. Fire, blaze, a cry. Miners stand still, shocked. In the tunnel: a sea of blazes. Miners run away: "Un feu!" (= a fire). Small groups of miners run through the tunnels, shout. Fire in the tunnels. -
[About 40 seconds missing here; see no. 002741]
[French, not subtitled ->]
On the streets in the village. People run, others look through shop windows to find out what happened. Shouts: "A fire! A fire in the mine!"; an old man sitting at a table in his living room is startled. He runs past a table with a big gramophone to the window, then out on the street. People run past. "What has happened?" the old man asks. A man stops for a short time: "A fire in the mine!", then runs on. The old man is worried about his son and runs to the mine, too. Street scenes with people running to the mine; policemen mount their bikes and drive off to the mine. Men, women, children run out of their houses, on the streets, to the mine. More and more. Outside the mine: smoke. - On the German side: An engine driver at the mines and another worker see the smoke. "Must be a bad accident." - French side: People crowding at the gates of the mine premises, but they are not let in. Women clinging to the bars, crying and shouting. Guards run to the gates and try to keep them closed. A car horn… the car is let through. The old man uses the opportunity, clings to the car and goes in, too. The gates are closed again. On the premises of the mine. The car arrives. The old man on the sideboard runs on to the mine entrance. A man is shouting at him, but he ignores it. Miners with rescue equipment (?) on their backs stand around. The old man takes a mine lamp and sneaks to a side entrance. Smoke rises. At the entrance: A miner is let down on a rope. Tools are let down. A miner, looking down. The lift is stuck. The miner who has been let down stands on the lift and tries to repairs it. - At the gates. An officer tries to calm down the women. Another officer tells him that the lift is out of order. A woman hears the remark and spread it among the crowds at the gates. Cries, shouts. Smoke. - The old man opens a hatch. Smoke rises. He climbs down into the smoky shaft, climbs down the shaft. Further down, the smoke becomes thicker and thicker. - Outside: Women at the bars of the gates, shouting. - Inside a tunnel: A steel pillar bends very slowly… miners run past. A fork; three miners run to the tunnel on the right hand side, a fourth one stops undecidedly. The tunnel on the right hand side collapses. A miner runs to the left. The undecided miner tries to hide in a ledge. The tunnel collapses. - Another tunnel. A miner collapses. Two others run to him and try to bring him back to consciousness. The tunnel collapses from rear to front, just in time (to save themselves) the two miners leave the unconscious one and run away. The rest of the tunnel collapses. - The old man sliding down a pole, climbing down ladders in the shaft. -
The train with the woman from the beginning arrives at a station and stops. The woman jumps out immediately and runs to the exit. A passenger tries in vain to remind her of her suitcase, then shrugs his shoulders and leaves the suitcase on the platform. -
[German, sparsely subtitled]
The German side of the mine. Showers and changing hall. Clothes hanging on pegs (with long ropes) from the ceiling. Two pegs are lowered down by a miner. Many miners in the hall, changing clothes. The showers: Lots of naked miners, showering. Two miners talk about the mine disaster on the French side: "600 men trapped." Miners changing clothes, talking. Men in the showers join the discussion. Man at pegs confirms the information about the disaster. Discussion about whether they should help the French comrade or not. Some of the miners decide to help and leave in order to build a rescue party. More and more go and join them. - Director and his assistant talk about the accident. - The miners want to have the rescue equipment, but the man responsible for it doesn't want to give them they key without explicit order from the director. - Director and assistant hear the argument and run down the stairs to the miners willing to build a rescue party. Discussion between director and miners. Director and assistant go aside and talk about whether to build a rescue party for the French miners or not. They decide to give the equipment to the miners, because their rescue team will be faster at the site of the disaster than the French team. ---
Miners (the late shift) climb up stairs (to work). Cars and trucks drive past. They realize that the early shift is going to build a rescue party. "For the French who threw us out yesterday?" - "What's that got to do with it?" - "Come on, we have to work." They go on. - The rescue party collects the equipment. They leave the building, fully equipped. Two trucks arrive. The miners jump on as fast as they can; others hand up the equipment and are pulled up by those who are already on the trucks. Tailboards are closed. Driver: "Ready?", mounts the driving cabin and drives off, greeting an officer. The second truck drives off. The few remaining miners wave after them. - In the director's office. He wants to speak to the director of the French side of the mine. - The trucks leave the premises of the German mine. - German director on the phone talking to French director. "Our rescue party just left. Not at all. We are very happy to be able to help you." - Outside the premises of the German mine. A crowd of people watching; some looking out of their windows. The gates open and the trucks with the rescue party leaves. In the windows of an adjacent house: a woman and her little daughter recognize their husband / father among the rescue party. They leave the house while the trucks drive through the street, watched by many people. The truck drives slowly through the crowded streets; the spectators shout: "Good luck" etc. A mother runs along the pavement holding a breakfast bag for her son: "You didn't eat!" The son takes it and says "Thanks, mother". Women on the pavement, watching the leaving truck. Mother with child, sadly, walking next to the truck on the pavement. Husband on the truck tells her he has to help his comrades: "They have wives and children, too." The wife cries (with handkerchief). Husband: "Don't cry. Try to understand." The wife nods sadly and lifts up the girl to her father on the truck. The father holds the girl, kisses her and lets her down again. He waves. Mother and girl, left behind. The girl waves.
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