7 March 2017 | richard-1787
In defense of Sacha Guitry
I don't know how well Guitry is remembered in the U.S., but in the 1930s and 40s, and then again in the 1950s, he was one of the leading playwrights and movie directors in France, a master of the sophisticated comedy in which language was everything, plot and character development very little.
Because he was very successful and wealthy, and because he remained in Paris producing and acting in plays during the Occupation, he was accused of collaborating with the Germans. In a long book in which he lays out all the evidence, he shows that these accusations were unfounded. And, in fact, the case against him was finally dismissed.
But more than one historian of the period who simply copies what he finds in other books continues to repeat the line that Guitry was a collaborator.
This movie recounts the case against him and shows how he was finally acquitted.
The script is not brilliant, which, in depicting Guitry, is a shame. On the other hand, the actor who plays him does a good job of conveying his cynical humor.
It held me from start to finish. Not a great movie, certainly, but it does a good job of showing how one celebrity was mistreated in the days immediately following the liberation of France by Resistance members who were too eager to accuse others of collaboration.
Note: there is a small appearance, in the role of the German officer in charge of the Parisian theaters, of the actor who would go on to play the role of Heinrich Müller in the first-rate French series about the Occupation: Un Village français.