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  • Mirek-414 December 2000
    I just watched the movie again after more than 40 years and I still liked it very much. It is a gentle comedy about mistaken identities taking place on a Christmas day.

    Gilbert Becaud is young, Francoise Arnoul beautiful and the music is excellent. Truly enjoyable Christmas movie.
  • As befits the man who was called Monsieur 100,000 volts, Gilbert Bécaud displays all the charm and magnetism he was famous for in this film; he is playing two characters, Julien Barrière and Éric Perceval. One is a drifter with no fear, the other is a timid pianist in the cabaret run by a very jovial Gabriello. The lovely Françoise Arnoul is courted by both men. The plot is unnecessarily complex: there is Julien's evil uncle Ludovic (Jean Toulout) who wants Julien to do something--don't know what really--and three louts keep turning up wanting to beat Julien up. Françoise Arnoul as Marinette the waitress is the soul of charm: here she is playing a nice girl instead of the vixens she became known for.

    I give ten stars for Bécaud and the rest of the superb cast, but only four for Carné's uninspired direction, the fake sets and the candy-floss color cinematography. Carné is trying to repeat the successes of the past and it does not work; a more improvisational feeling, relying more on Bécaud's magnetism would have been better.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    .. is not to have to watch Gilbert Becaud trying to play ONE role let alone two, and that's before he starts to sing. There were, of course, only two male singers of popular song in twentieth century France; Yves Montand and all the rest and Montand could have acted Becaud off the screen with one gesture tied behind his back. That leaves Marcel Carne, a giant in French cinema and co-inventor, with seven-time colleague Jacques Prevert, of poetic realism. Alas, here he is a shadow of his former self and one wonders what he saw in this heavily diluted take on A Comedy Of Errors in the first place. On the plus side there are some pleasant visuals but that's about it.
  • dbdumonteil31 October 2007
    And as far as Marcel Carné is concerned,going down.."Le Pays D'ou Je Viens" should be reserved for Gilbert Bécaud's fans ,and for them only. As Bécaud is a singer ,Carné is compelled to bestow on the audience a song every fifteen minutes.As I'm not a fan of Becaud's kind of music,the only palatable song is the title track to my ears .I'd rather have the Christmas songs ("IL est Né Le Divin Infant" and Adolphe Adam's "Minuit Chrétiens" (="O Holy Night") ,sung by Les Petits Chanteurs d'Anières ,in the vicarage or in the church during the midnight mass any day.

    Carné's directing is listless;it's hard to believe that the same man made "Le Jour Se Lève" seventeen years before.He does not know how to show to advantage Becaud's singing.But there's worse:making an actor play two parts is a very difficult task.It takes a strong experimented thespian ,able to suggest two different personalities :Louis Jouvet,Michel Simon or Fernandel could pull it off.Becaud cannot,and it's hard to tell Eric and Julien apart.

    The candy-floss color cinematography,as Bob Taylor points out ,retains a certain charm,the charm of the old Christmas cards (as the beginning and the end of the movie show),and Agostini's pictures are certainly pleasant enough.Christmas time in a small town in the fifties is nicely shown.Claude Brasseur ,Pierre's son (Pierre Brasseur was one of the leads of Carné's magnum opus "Les Enfants Du Paradis") appears in a small part.The script is sometimes ponderous :Françoise Arnoul's dress gag is repeated twice.

    If you are looking for a Xmas tale,you'd better take Capra's "it's a wonderful life" (aka "La Vie Est Belle")
  • Would you believe that I saw the whole movie last time in 1957 and I still remember most of the songs and Becaud's music.If you are looking for a serious Christmas movie and you want to compare with It's a wonderful life,or Miracle on 42nd street,you are on the wrong address.You better stay at home and listen to Handel's Messiah.In this movie I saw the enormous talent and artistic potential,which Gilbert Becaud had proved to us all during his lifetime.My life was enriched by seeing him performing alive,meeting him and shaking his hand. If the story,the cast and namely Becaud's input would not be excellent,a director of Marcel Carne's stature would not touch it.