14 November 2017 | dbdumonteil
Rich people are kind ...
Second remake of a hopeless melodrama ,after Louis Feuillade 's version in the silent era and a talkie in the mid-thirties.Aimed at the children's market ,it bears the appropriate scars of the reactionary time of the French screenwriter/director Feuillade.
Its moral could be :the richer,the kinder .The two gamines are two spoiled children ,who live in a luxury apartment with a TV set in 1951. The wicked governess ,Mrs Benazer is an old maid, who wants to latch on to the granddad's dough (for he has disowned his daughter who - what a shame!- has become a famous Chanteuse ); Suzy Prim makes the best of that part of a villain and gives by far the best performance in a rather bland flick.Treating the children cosseted by their mom like Cinderella or Cosette ,she goes out of her way to discredit them , to punish them and eventually to send them to a reformatory! Needless to say,when Prim is dismissed by the indignant granddad-and how long it takes him to realize his servant's sadism!-,the movie becomes worthless.
The fairy tale side could have renewed such a hackneyed subject: the sudden entrance of the shrew in the bedroom as Ginette is telling her tale to her kid sister Gaby looks like the appearance of a witch ;then the girls lost in the Bois De Boulogne (in chic Neuilly) who meet a prince and a princess .All this could have been fully exploited but nobody at all in the writers team had ever been in the business of supplying real poetry,fantasy ,savor,humor...
And this fairy-like side quickly degenerates into two-bit thriller ,with a strong sense of duty (the father who redeems himself thanks to his daughter's courage) , of bourgeois moral and lots of finer feelings.
Leo Marjane was first a Chanteuse ,her part is very small ,it actually boils down one tune or two ,the lullaby being particularly syrupy and soppy: so, eventually we can forgive Mrs Benazer for breaking the record!