FRAGMENT | The film is loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ play about the celebrated actor Kean, who moves effortlessly through all walks of life in 1830s London. One evening he’s in the company of counts and princes, and the next he’s enjoying the company of poor artists at the city’s pubs. A series of infatuations drive him into a complicated love drama.
The film is directed by Holger Rasmussen, who took over after Viggo Larsen’s dismissal from Nordisk Film in 1909, but didn’t stay for more than a year. The company had expected a lot from Rasmussen, who was a theatre director, actor and author, but according to film historian Marguerite Engberg, they were disappointed: “Judging by the small fragment preserved of Kean, a prestigious film, directed by Rasmussen and with Martinius Nielsen in the lead role, one must conclude that his instruction marked a step backwards; the film seems primitive and stiff, with actors coming in and out through doors, as on a theatre stage.” (Dansk Stumfilm I, 1977)