18 October 2020 | ma-cortes
Spanish/French coproduction with Fernandel as a servant posing as his master , including romance, adventure, sword-play and hilarious scenes
Fernandel vehicle being a free version based on the famous myth of Don Juan. But more than philander Don Juan : Erno Crisa , it deals with his servant called Sgnarelle, the always ugly but sympathetic Fernandel using his regular tics. Here Fernandel is mistaken for Don Juan himself when the latter is detained posing as his assistant, while Sgnarelle as the master and all the women go after him. Along the way Fernandel falls for a gorgeous stage actress : Carmen Sevilla who believing he is the known seducer Don Juan also has a crush on him in spite of his ugliness. As at the palace of the governor of Toledo happen several incidents, confusion, mess at a dancing ball and mayhem, while Don Juan goes on loving women and being chased by jealous husbands. Finally, the fake Don Juan is trapped by the villain governor, being condemned to gallows by means of a terrible execution : burning pole.
A very free rendition about the legendary personage immortalized by Tirso de Molina and Jose Zorilla , though seems to be this film relies mainly on Moliere's Don Juan. A Fernandel recital giving his ordinary likable acting as a womanizer servant who impersonating as Don Juan he becomes the toast of the city of Toledo. His female partenaire is the Spanish bombshell Carmen Sevilla who is really wonderful and she even dances a charming dancing at a luxurious hall. Being well accompanied by a good Spanish, French cast such as Fernando Rey, Jose Sepulveda, Antonio Riquelme, Manolo Gomez Bur as the executioner , the French Armontel and the Italian Erno Crisa as Don Juan. Adding a colorful cinematography in brilliant Technicolor, evocative score by Sauguet and opulent settings by production designer Sigfrido Burmann. The motion picture was lavish and professionally directed by John Berry. This American filmmaker was blacklisted by the committee of Anti-American activities and he then exiled in Europe. In US he made nice films as From this day forward, Cross my heart, Casbah, Tension, and outstanding in Noir Film. However, his ulterior career was very uneven including films of all kinds of genres as Sister sister, Tamango, The bad new bears go to Japan, He ran all the way, Honeyboy, Thieves, Claudine, A todo gas, Chillers, Tamango, Oh! Que mambo, Maldonne and Claudine.
There are several versions about this legendary figure Don Juan, a similar role to the Venetian Giacomo Casanova, such as : The private life of Don Juan 1934 by Alexander Korda with Douglas Fairbanks, Merle Oberon. Adventures of Don Juan 1948 by Vincent Sherman with Errol Flynn, Viveca Lindfords. Don Juan 1950 by Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia with Antonio Vilar, Annabella, Maria Rosa Salgado, Santiago Rivero. If Don Juan were a woman 1973 by Roger Vadim with Brigitte Bardot, Robert Hossein, Jane Birkin, Mathieu Carrere . Don Giovanni 1979 by Joseph Losey with Ruggero Raimondi. Nights and loves of Don Juan 1971 by Alfonso Brescia with Robert Hoffman, Anabella Incontrera, Barbara Bouchet, Lucrecia Love, Edwige Fenech. Don Juan de Marco 1994 with Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando. Don Juan de los Infiernos by Gonzalo Suarez with Fernando Guillen, Maribel Verdu. Don Juan mi querido Fantasma by Antonio Mercero with Juan Luis Galiardo. Y Don Juan 1998 with Jacques Weber, Penelope Cruz, among others.