De bruut


The painter Henri Norwart takes his wife and child to the country, hoping that the fresh air will benefit his wife who is seriously ill. The doctor, seeing that she is losing ground, advises their speedy return to town. Mrs Norwart, conscious that her days are numbered, endeavours to extract from Henri the promise that, after her death, he will give their son a new mother. Shortly afterwards, she dies.

Even his work cannot divert Henri from his sorrow. A friend tries in vain to persuade him to re-marry. At that moment a violent altercation is heard outside the café. Charles Duval strikes his wife Marie so severely that she falls down in a faint. Norwart gives the woman assistance and takes her to his home, where she relates the story of her disastrous marriage. He decides to keep Marie with him as housekeeper. Meanwhile Duval is sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment because of his criminal activities. On his release from prison, Duval is told of Marie's whereabouts. Enraged and jealous, he goes to Norwart's house and signs to Marie to follow him. She, because of her still unconquerable weakness for him, agrees to do so. When Duval orders her to work as a prostitute at the Oriental Club, she flees from this house of ill repute and returns to Norwart, begging him to give her shelter once more. In order to protect Marie against Duval's persecution, Norwart, who has come to love this woman, moves to another town.

Suddenly the brute reappears. In a drunken condition, he seeks Marie and Norwart in the church where Henri is carrying out artistic decorations. Duval climbs up the scaffolding and seriously damages the artist's work. But fate overtakes him. He falls from the scaffolding just as Marie and Henri enter the church. Duval, in a last desperate effort, rushes at Marie with a drawn knife. "Now you must come with me" he gasps. "No," she cries, "I remain." In the same moment Duval drops dead. Marie and Henri are now on the threshold of a new life.


original title
De bruut
production year
release date
Germany, Netherlands
original distributor
production company
production company




Technical notations

original length
Black & White


G. Donadson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 233-234

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