6 January 2009 | tentender
One of the weaker Guitrys
Guitry's films are often relegated to the category of "filmed theater." While this is an inaccurate categorization of his films as a whole, it does apply to this very talky picture. Not only is it based on a play, it is also very clumsily "opened up" with cutaway "meanwhile" inserts, brief exterior shots showing characters entering buildings, etc., which break up the theatrical continuity and add little, if anything. A rather long 91 minutes (the running time of the Gaumont DVD in the "Guitry Coffret d'or" boxed set -- though two Guitry books and IMDb list it as 109), despite the exceptionally appealing presence of young star Georges Gray -- a very handsome man, who is seen in a (non full-frontal) nude scene. He's very chipper and genial (if not exactly funny -- he doesn't really have any good lines). Guitry gives a typical Guitry performance. He himself said he was no actor, and, indeed, Guitry is always Guitry (as John Wayne is always John Wayne). Sometimes that's fine -- when he plays historical characters it seems to work well -- but here one could use something more. The women are all fine, the decors and costumes are lovely. And it's a bit of a bore.