Majoor Frans

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At Castle "De Werve", debt-ridden Colonel von Zwenken's daughter and her husband John Mordaunt await the birth of a child. Mordaunt's aunt has promised that if it is a son named after her late husband, she will allow the boy an annual allowance of 20,000 guilders. When a daughter is born, Mordaunt, anxious to keep the money, telegraphs Aunt Roselaar that he has a son called Francis, or Frans for short. When the mother dies, father and grandfather bring up Frans as a boy. The nursemaid tries to prevent this by teaching her a girl's manners, but is thwarted by Rolf, Von Zwenken's adjutant, who teaches the girl to ride and to fence and nicknames her Major Frans. When Frans is ten-years-old, her father dies and Aunt Roselaar, who has never seen her "nephew", visits the castle. The deception infuriates her. She will send no more money but will pay for her education if Frans is sent to a boarding-school. Thereafter, Von Zwenken and Rolf go to the East Indies with the army. For Frans, accustomed to do as she pleases, life at school is a misery.

During an excursion, the head-mistress leaves her handbag in a tram. Frans, mounting the horse of a cavalry soldier, dashes after the tram and retrieves the bag. For this exploit, she is expelled because of her unladylike behaviour. With her nursemaid she returns to "De Werve", where she is joined by her grandfather and Rolf, back from the Indies, and resumes her life as wild "Major Frans". She witnesses how Von Zwenken gives money to his son Rudolf, a student, telling him that because of his own debts he can give the young man no more. Back at the University, Rudolf spends every penny. Forced to give up his studies, he joins the cavalry, deserts and lands in prison. Shocked by his son's behaviour, Von Zwenken is advised to go to a health resort. This he can only do after Frans pawns her jewels.

Helped by Frans, Rudolf escapes and, in a foreign country, works as a croupier in the hotel where his father is staying. He sees his father lose all his money and money borrowed from a friend. Forced to return to "De Werve", Von Zwenken, hearing that Frans was responsible for the death of their coachman, promises to care for the widow. When the promissory note he has signed arrives, he accuses Rudolf of having forged his signature. Rolf now re-joins the household and contributes to the upkeep of "De Werve". Leo van Zonshoven, a cousin of Frans, comes on a visit. He is welcomed by Von Zwenken on hearing that Leo has been made Aunt Roselaar's sole heir. She had told Leo that it would please her if he were to marry Frans, whom she has disinherited for fear that the grandfather would waste the money.

When Francis and Leo fall in love, Von Zwenken, seeing the end of his financial difficulties, gladly consents to their marriage. The young people are happy until Frans reads a letter from her grandfather's money-lender suggesting that Leo is only marrying her to get the inheritance. She breaks off the engagement without giving Leo an opportunity to defend himself. Back at home, Leo becomes seriously ill and is confined to bed for many weeks. When Von Zwenken dies, the castle is distrained upon his creditors. Frans, forced to leave, writes to her uncle Rudolf, now a jockey in a circus, asking for a job as an equestrienne. Rolf sees her in the circus and tells Leo. Together they persuade her to give up this unfitting profession. Leo tells Frans that he has bought "De Werve" and urges her to live there as long as she wants. One day Frans finds in her grandfather's room an unopened letter written by Aunt Roselaar to Leo and sent by Leo to Von Zwenken in justification of his visit. Frans realizes how wrongfully she has accused Leo. Before long, Frans and Leo are united in marriage.


original title
Majoor Frans
alternative title
De soldatendochter
production year
release date
geographical names
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original length


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), p. 153

R. Bishoff, Hollywood in Holland, Amsterdam (1988), p. 75, p. 125

Tooneel en Bioscoop No. 6, 1916-1917, p. 24

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 42, 7 juli 1916, p. 4

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 49, 25 augustus 1916, p. 18

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 4, 20 oktober 1916, p. 5

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 6, 3 november 1916, p. 8

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 14, 29 december 1916, p. 4

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 8, 16 november 1917; Bijlage van De Bioscoop-Courant

Algemeen Handelsblad, 14 december 1916

Algemeen Handelsblad, 16 december 1916

De Kinematograaf No. 183, 21 juli 1916, p. 2426, p. 2428

De Kinematograaf No. 203, 8 december 1916

De Kinematograaf No. 205, 22 december 1916, p. 2668

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