13 September 2020 | ulicknormanowen
I would like to be in his /her shoes!
In the silent era , René Guissart was a renowned cameraman (he worked on the silent version of "Ben Hur "starring Navarro.)
His work as a director in the thirties is not devoid of interest : there are witty comedies ("prince de minuit" "toi,c'est moi" ,this movie) and even good melodrama ("Ménilmontant "(1936) ,arguably his best effort ,not to be mistaken for Kirsanoff's silent short :the plots are downright different )
"Dédé" is a musical ,but neither the songs nor the ballets are boring : the songs have aged well (one of which "dans la vie faut pas sans faire" -why worry in life?-, is still popular today in today's France ).The cast is perfect : Albert Préjean ,as a womanizer who sponges off his wealthy pal Dédé ;Claude Dauphin,as the cash cow, in love with a woman he mistakes for the prefect's wife -whereas she's Mrs Slipper(sic) , a shoes shopkeeper's missus .Now that he has bought the store ,he intends to use the back shop as a lounge ,to entertain his lovers ,particularly Mrs Chausson (Slipper).....much to his employee Denise' s annoyance :she has a crush on her boss ,and she goes as far as to write a letter to the prefect ,signed " a woman who wishes you well".
This unpretentious comedy is a fine display of misunderstandings , sudden new developments and even good puns .Higgledy-piggledy , a notary in love with a girl who could be his daughter who ends up in jail, a shoe shopkeepers ' strike, a belly dance .....and ,to top it all, Danielle Darrieux,on the threshold of one of the most brilliant careers in the cinema ,absolutely gorgeous and irresistible even when she puts on her vixen's act .
"Dédé " was feel good stuff for people of the thirties :and it's still working.