30 April 2020 | thierry-guffroy
Not the turkey they said it was
Just saw this movie on YouTube.
Speaking of films which deserve to be remembered as part of the French Golden Age, WW2 was far from being a sad period of time for the motion picture industry in occupied France, thanks to The Continentale Company, and others.
This film (whoever produced it) has got all the qualities and all the defaults of the average French production : It's focusing on its actors only, not on the director. French people wanted to watch their favorite actors all the time, no matter what they had to play.
Think of what this could've been without the great Lise Delamare (from the Comédie Française) who personifies a fascinating courtesan in a Suzy Delair type, without Dubost (who lost 50 000 francs, by the way, not twenty ... check at 24'39'' when she says it loudly), the tremendous Blier, the star Morlay (talking too fast, speech hard to catch here), and of course, without their dialogues.
I believe Jeanson also worked on the trial scenes, in court. The punchy lines written for the attorneys are certainly his, as the prosecutor and the defender harshly and so brilliantly confront themselves.
Nevertheless, to me, this film looks more than a sketch or a draft, simply because the cast does it all, as usual in the French cinema, with even more imagination inspired by that strange direction. Not at all the average main program you would have expected in a theater of that time ...