A tramp learns that even honesty won't help him overcome his struggles to prosper. After a man tells him that he needs to smile in order to succeed, he turns his attitude around and he becomes successful.
Brilliant film from great French director Maurice Tourneur 1876 – 1961 (father of Jacques Tourneur) who is considered by Kevin Brownlow as one of the greatest directors of the early years of US cinema along with D.W. Griffith, Erich Von Stroheim and Charles Chaplin. Maybe the best role of Maurice Chevalier who plays the part of an accomplished careerist who succeeds in everything he is doing « Avec le sourire » - With smile (and class). The script is supposed to have been written by Louis Verneuil who takes sole credit for it. But recent serious researches from French writer (of Tourneur's biography) Christine Leteux prove that it was in fact completely authored by French writer - director Carlo Rim. Who of them both really should get recognition for it is important as the script is witty and brilliant from frame one to the very end, with a great dialogue. The viewer goes deep along with Victor Larnois (Chevalier) 's path to glory although his ways are questionable. A memorable scene in the film shows Chevalier singing in four different ways a song, according to the public it is aiming at (great laughs). The direction is precise and impeccable, as is the photography. The whole film looks like an American comedy of the time (1936) thanks to its demanding quality in every field. The secondary characters all reveal layers of surprises for the viewer. The film is HIGHLY recommended for all audiences although adults will appreciate its subtext more. A film to watch and watch again, to start a discussion about what kind of an attitude is required to succeed in life, and at what cost ?