24 October 2017 | dbdumonteil
Dead man on the run .
A first version of this story , "Le Mort En Fuite" was made by the same director and featured such luminaries as Michel Simon and Jules Berry in 1936 .
The screenplay was so good they made a remake eighteen years later.
Two thespians down on their luck want to top the bill of their theater.They notice that a criminal has just made the headlines and that his memoirs sell well.Therefore, Hector suggests Achille he "kill" him ;later he will "reappear" and both of them will become famous ,after such a miscarriage of justice.After the would be murder, after much exertion, Achille is arrested and sentenced to death.But Hector, who hides abroad, is arrested and ,mistaken for a spy ,winds up in front of a Russian court martial ,and gets a death sentence.He cannot save the soon-to-be-guillotined unfortunate Achille anymore.What will become of them?
Against all odds,Jean Richard as the would be killer and Jean -Marc Thibault as his ''victim "walk off with the honors,considering the 1936 actors' incomparable talent ;and the supporting cast,including Pauline Carton (who else?) as the Concierge, Maurice Biraud as the opportunist lawyer and an unexpected Russian-speaking Jacqueline Maillan, as comrade Olga,a witness for the prosecution in front of the court martial,is up to scratch.
The screenplay is really strong and does not fall apart after fifteen minutes.It proves that everybody , be he a third-rate actor,a starlet, a lawyer or a theater manager, loves free publicity ;everybody wants to be at the top of the bill in his field:it matters little that a murder has been committed,as long as it helps you launch your career.