History of a crime (movie, 1901)

History of a Crime (sometimes called The Story of a Crime 1 ) is a French film directed by Ferdinand Zecca , released in 1901 .


Entering the night in a bank, a burglar stabs the cashier-guardian. He is arrested in the company of courtesans as he squanders the stolen money. At the morgue, in front of the corpse of the cashier, he falls on his knees and asks for forgiveness. In his cell, he sleeps on a bedstead and three important memories of his life appear successively on the wall: 1 / Still child, his mother accompanies him in the paternal carpentry where his father embraces him affectionately. 2 / Teenager, apprentice, he takes a seat at the family table after kissing his parents. 3 / Adult, he loses his salary in a café by playing cards with a cheater. Furious at his luck, he sees a man come in ordering a liquor, showing off to pay for a well stocked purse. The future assassin follows suit when he leaves. The flashback fades on the wall. The door of the cell then opens, leaving a priest and five men in frock-coat, looking stern, waking the prisoner and going out with him. He is tied up, his hair shaved on his neck, his shirt open, exhorted by the priest who brandishes a crucifix. Taken to a courtyard where the woods of the guillotine stand, he is executed2 .

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