10 August 2010 | dbdumonteil
What a cock!
A special case in Fernandel's filmography ...And in Maurice Cloche's too...
"Coeur De Coq" begins as a comedy :Tulipe (sic) works in a printing house and he is in love with the owner's daughter.She is going to make a money match ,on account of the economy -and her dad's business:the fiancé is a middle age man (so is Fernandel anyway),he stutters and the girl does not love him .Tulipe is so desperate he considers suicide .When his friends come to wake him,he believes he's in Heaven ...for a short while.
The second part is unusual for it is sci-fi ,a genre unknown in France of the thirties and the forties (to my knowledge ,only some of Abel Gance's works,the appalling "Croisieres Siderales" and the overlooked " Le Monde Tremblera" were attempt in that direction.Here the plot deals with heart transplant ,two decades before Professor Barnard ;but you are given an animal's heart transplant ,not another human heart!Tulipe chooses the cock (check the title)because "Un Coq De Village" means a womanizer .
In the last part,the director completely changes his style;there's only a few lines ,some time in a pasteboard Venice ,complete with Bel Canto, masks,costumes ,gondolas and Farandoles ;the dreamlike atmosphere makes the movie fall into the fantasy genre.
Some may complain about the final "unexpected end" ,but the audience is given clues all along the movie:the news item about this scientist who makes cock's hearts transplants ,Cloche's cinematography -so conventional usually - becomes inventive in the second part with an interesting use of shadows and lights which makes the scientist almost threatening.
Except for the Venitian's song ,the other ditties get in the way and are mostly filler.Although released just after WW2,"Coeur De Coq " is not unlike these "escapist movies" of the occupation