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  • Warning: Spoilers
    ... bloom on, as Shakespeare didn't quite say but might have had he heard Danielle Darrieux sing Les fleurs sont des mots d'amour, one of two numbers she performs in this confection from Continental. Initially she signed for only one movie, Premiere Rendez-vous, directed by her then still husband Henri Decoin, which though not the first Continental movie to be shot (that was L'Assassinat de Pere Noel) was the first to be released. By the time Rendez-vous was in the can Darrieux had left Decoin and was involved with the South American-born International playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, soon to become her second husband and Alfred Greven, the head of Continental, who got top talent to work for a German company during the Occupation where and how he could intimated that should she sign for a further two pictures Senor Rubirosa would be a welcome guest in Occupied France whereas on the other hand ... well, visas were hard to come by and who knows, the senor may find himself en route to Buenos Aires on the first tanker out of Le Havre. Whether means ever justify ends is best left to the philosophers but I for one am grateful that blackmail is such an ugly word because if there's one thing in life I enjoy more than a Danielle Darrieux movie it is three Danielle Darrieux movies. Of the three she finally made for Continental Premiere Rendez-vous is by far the best but Caprices and La Fausse Maitresse are not exactly chopped liver. Here, as the daughter of a circus owner, she gets to perform on a rope, sing the two songs I mentioned, fall for a local rugby player and pretend that it is the bareback rider who has eyes for him, tangle with a bent journalist before Cayatte wraps it up neatly in 85 minutes even. Vintage wine albeit domestic.
  • Another film of Andr√© Cayatte's first period,before he became the (talented and ahead of his time,considering the amount of movies-including-a-trial)lawyer who fought against any good cause going from child abuse to miscarriages of justice ,from euthanasia to death penalty.The first period is mainly made of adaptations of famous novels from the nineteenth century.

    Like "Pierre et Jean " ,Balzac's "La Fausse Maitresse" was transposed to the forties but it is not as successful as the Maupassant story.The rugby circle was perhaps not a very good choice in the first place;besides Cayatte is not at ease in the comedy style (or should I say the Theatre de Boulevard which was Guitry's forte?)and Danielle Darrieux carries all the movie on her shoulders.Without her ,the movie would be almost worthless.But here,she is and every scene she is not in is dull and boring.But when she is at her best ,for instance in the trailer ,where she tells the gallant she knows the score or in his so-called's lover's apartment where she makes funny gaffes ,everywhere she steals the show (sometimes there is nothing to steal,unfortunately).

    The only scene worth the price of admission is Darrieux doing strip acrobatics ,while the young (and not so young) males salivate like Pavlov's dogs looking at her through binoculars.