How to Keep the Red Lamp Burning (1965)

  |  Comedy, Drama


How to Keep the Red Lamp Burning (1965) Poster

It is with a heavy heart that Monsieur Charles has to close his Parisian brothel in 1946, following new legislation outlawing such establishments. As a parting gift, he offers the brothel's... See full summary »


6.6/10
341

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Cast & Crew

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Directors:

Gilles Grangier , Georges Lautner

Writers:

Michel Audiard (dialogue), Albert Simonin (scenarios "La fermeture" and "Le procès"), Albert Kantof (scenario "Les bons vivants"), Paul Reboux (short story), Charles Muller (short story), Albert Simonin (adaptation), Albert Kantof (adaptation)

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23 December 2018 | dbdumonteil
Madam switches off the red light.
Dismissed as rubbish by most of the French critics ,"Les Bons Vivants " is nonetheless a very funny comedy ,with lots of good lines by Audiard : it's entertaining , it's not head cinema, but why deny yourself a good laugh?

This is a movie made of three sketches ,the mcguffin of which is a lantern . 1°)the closure :lines warn us before it all begins :they put people out of business: it may be a factory ,a farm ...unemployment is looming It actually concerns a brothel ;the Marthe Richard law from 1946 closed all those places. The boss (Bernard Blier) and his ladies are lambasted ;some try to move into a new type of employment: nightclub hostesses, music hall ;some study the Assimil method (English without tears) to emigrate ;some will have to be streetwalkers . All are on the verge of tears .Don't ask for Maupassant's "La Maison Tellier" ! It's much fun though.The lantern (the red light) is given to the most deserving boarder.

2) The trial : thanks to men (and to dogs) ,this deserving lady(Andrea Parisy) climbs the social scale quickly and becomes a baroness , soon to be widowed ,for her husband could be her grandpa. Her desirable mansion is burglarized ; the thief (Jean Lefèvre) is arrested ,but it's impossible to find one of the stolen goods : the lantern .It works pretty well as a travesty of a trial ,but the ending is botched .

3)The Bons Vivants :how an athletic club turns into a private brothel ; one of the members (Louis De Funès)takes in a would be mistreated hooker (Mireille Darc) ;she becomes his servant ,soon to be joined by other ones (including Bernadette Laffont) Best moments: A clueless De Funès,reading his interminable speech ,while his partners have only eyes for the servants ; and a very special Christmas .

Everyone hams it up in this story which must not be taken seriously ;just for fun!

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