30 October 2016 | dbdumonteil
Double or quits?
Robert Vernay is mostly remembered for his two versions of Dumas '"Le Comte De Monte Cristo",the first one,made in the Occupation days ,generally considered best.One should add his version of "Le Capitan" ,in black and white,but longer than the 1959 color remake.
"Quitte Ou Double " could be called "radio days" at a time TV sets were very rare ;"Zappy Max was one of France's most popular radio hosts of the 1950s.":he was so popular he became the hero of a radio serial sponsored by a brand of laundry detergent,Sunil ;the commercials were smartly introduced in the actual story :Zappy finding a clue,a handkerchief ,and telling the listeners :"smells good,this handkerchief,must have been washed with Sunil"In the fifties, Zappy Max was touring France with radio-circus:a show, a talent show,and a game called " double or quits":your gains were in geometric progression with each good answer,but should you fail once,then you would lose everything.
An old maid from the Province is in love with Zappy Max ;she writes him dozens of letter ,but she encloses the most beautiful girl in town's photograph with one of them.And the circus is coming to town ,and of course,so is her idol.The radio host has fallen in love with his correspondent,with the girl of the photograph that is.And this beauty has her problems too:her wealthy uncle resembles uncle Scroodge and does not want to lend her dear daddy the funds he need to buy a newspaper kiosk.But the spinster is a literature scholar ,and the chick has the voice of an angel :all will work out all right in the end.
Cinematographically,it is totally devoid of interest;but it is a good time capsule ,capturing the radio days atmosphere ,with its dumb games (are they dumber than today's contests?),its serious ones with which you could become a millionaire ,its guest stars (Line Renaud sings two songs ,mostly filler),and occasionally its good deeds (here ,bringing medicine to a sick child).
Goof: During the radio game ,the candidate is asked in which century Molière was born;she answers: "eighteenth century" and she's congratulated !