16 January 2020 | ulicknormanowen
From Venice ,with love.
A workaholic ,Christian -Jaque made 5 films in 1937 ,the best one in collaboration with Sacha Guitry ("Les Perles De La Couronne" )......
;....and this film ,which ,in spite of its title ,takes place in Venice only in the last twenty minutes .
More than the desultory screenplay , it's the characters who are endearing: Jovial Albert Préjean is well cast as a devil-may-care broke playboy who has to seduce Monsieur Mortal 's wife and thus to allow him to get a divorce :he wants to marry an Américan woman who tells him in her first language and in broken French that in her country "we do not sleep ,we marry first"; the burdensome wife is played by exuberant Elvire Popesco who is such a bad driver that she almost runs over her future seducer and the willing witness at that!
The playboy ,who wants to have fun with the husband's dough, takes a Gavroche of sorts with him,and the boy's dog,Miro.As Albert Préjean was primarily a singer,he and his protégé pull a little tune while he's driving to the Riviera .
This little boy is played by Marcel Mouloudji (billed as "Le Petit Mouloudji" ) a whizz kid who would become a talented actor when he grew up ; in 1938,he played a prominent part in Christian-Jaque's first major work "Les Disparus De Saint -Agil".
One thing may puzzle the viewer :we catch a glimpse of the place where the urchin lives : a seedy trailer on a wasteland where other people seem like outcasts on the edge of town; the sequence is brief, but it looks like an anomaly in what is finally a comedy ;it might display the director's humanism and a plea for a square deal for the underdogs (later ,in "D'Homme A Homme" and "Si Tous Les Gars Du Monde " this social concern would emerge again .)
There's also a jewels theft ,which shows the brat do his Holmes act ,but it seems that the director has forgotten this subplot when the novice sleuth succeeds ; and gondolas, a masked ball ,romantic bel canto are de rigueur in Venice.