French farce comes to the New World in 1840 as Claire Ledoux convinces the middle-aged banker Read More »
Tag Archives: René Clair
In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Lawrence ‘Larry’ Stevens is an ambitious reporter of The Evening News. Read More »
1910 : A friend leaves his daughter, Madeleine, with Emile a French film producer. Emile falls in love with her. Read More »
A man goes to the lonely estate of the mysterious Dr. Renault, whose strange experiments release the man’s spirit from his body. Read More »
Young Claude, teacher by day, is a struggling composer by night. Alas, everyone around him seems to prefer noise to music. Read More »
Un chapeau de paille d’Italie / An Italian Straw Hat (1928) René Clair, Alice Tissot, Alexis Bondireff, Marise Maia, Comedy
On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard’s horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Read More »
La beauté du diable / Beauty and the Devil (1950) René Clair, Michel Simon, Gérard Philipe, Nicole Besnard, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Professor Henri Faust, retiring after 50 years as an alchemist in a circa-1700 university, despairs at still knowing nothing of the true secrets of nature Read More »
Les Grandes manoeuvres / The Grand Maneuver (1955) René Clair, Michèle Morgan, Gérard Philipe, Jean Desailly, Comedy, Drama, Romance
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn’t like other girls he’s known. Read More »
Les fêtes galantes / The Lace Wars (1965) René Clair, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Philippe Avron, Marie Dubois, Comedy, History, War
Having lost a battle against the Prince of Beaulieu, Marechal d’Allenberg returns to his castle with his few remaining followers. Read More »
I Married a Witch (1942) René Clair, Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Veronica Lake casts a seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic. Many centuries after cursing the male descendants of the Salem puritan who sent her to the stake, this blonde bombshell with a broomstick finds herself drawn to one of them – a prospective governor (Fredric March) about to marry a spoiled socialite (Susan Hayward). The most delightful of the films the innovative French director René Clair made in Hollywood, I Married a Witch is a comic confection bursting with playful special effects and sparkling witticisms.
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Tout l’or du monde / All the Gold in the World (1961) René Clair, Bourvil, Alfred Adam, Philippe Noiret, Comedy
Businessman Victor Hardy wants to buy the entire area around the small village of Cabosse. He claims that he wants to return to nature, but he also intends to profit by selling the water from the village fountain, which is reputed to enhance longevity. However old farmer Mathieu and his sons don’t want to sell…
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And Then There Were None (1945) René Clair, Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Ten people are invited for a weekend on an island by a Mr U. N. Own, but he isn’t on the island. At dinner a record is played, by that all the people are accused of murder, suddenly the first of them is dead, then the next… It seems to be that one of them is the murderer Mr. U. N. Own, but the person in suspect is always the person who is murdered next. At last only two people seem to be left.
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Porte des Lilas / The Gates of Paris (1957) René Clair, Pierre Brasseur, Georges Brassens, Henri Vidal
Juju, a drunken oaf who feels the need of being important to someone—anyone—and his friend, an artist, are forced at gunpoint to care for a fugitive, Peirre Barbier, in Juju’s broken-down home. The urge for being needed is such in Juju that he gives up drinking and takes care of Pierre, even after he learns that Pierre has been making love to Maria, the girl Juju loves. Plans are made for Pierre’s escape, and Maria is to join him over her father’s protests. Marua steals money from her father and begs Juju to take it to Pierre. When Juju finds that Pierre plans to double-cross Maria, he kills him. Juju takes the money to his artist-friend, he tells him to return it to Maria, as coming from Pierre, so she won’t think she has been betrayed. Juju returns to drinking and being a drunk.
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A famous left-wing satirical comedy about two ex-convicts, one of whom escaped jail and then worked his way up from salesman to factory owner, where he oversees a highly mechanized operation where the workers are reduced to mere automatons. Fearful of being exposed over his past, at first by his friend and later by another gangster, the owner chooses to give his factory to the workers, then escapes with his friend to the freedom of the open road. The production company for “A Nous la Liberte” was for more than a decade embroiled in a lawsuit claiming that Charles Chaplin had seen their film and plagiarized many ideas from it as he developed “Modern Times.”
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Sous les toits de Paris / Under the Roofs of Paris (1930) René Clair, Albert Préjean, Pola Illéry, Edmond T. Gréville
While singing in a lower class quarter in Paris, the street singer Albert falls in love with the Romanian party girl Pola, who is the companion of the gangster Fred. One night, Albert meets with Pola, who has just found that Fred had stolen her key, and his friend Louis proposes to toss to date her. However, Albert brings her to his room and they spend the night together, with Albert sleeping on the floor and Pola on his bed. Early in the morning, the pickpocket Émile brings a bag with stolen pieces and asks Albert to keep the bag for him. When the police busts Albert’s room and finds the stolen goods, he is arrested and sent to jail. Meanwhile Fred travels and Pola seeks comfort with Louis, and they stay together. When Émile is arrested by the police, he confesses that Albert is innocent and he is released and seeks out Pola. Meanwhile Fred returns to Paris and also seeks out Pola that is with Louis.
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