Tag Archives: René Clair

I Married a Witch (1942) René Clair, Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

I Married a Witch (1942)
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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The Flame of New Orleans (1941) René Clair, Marlene Dietrich, Bruce Cabot, Roland Young, Comedy, Romance

The Flame of New Orleans (1941)
French farce comes to the New World in 1840 as Claire Ledoux convinces the middle-aged banker who is her fiance that she is two different women – a deception made necessary by the arrival of a man acquainted with the swath she cut across Europe. Giraud has been about to foreclose on a $150 loan made to a sea captain who needed the funds to court Claire. Get Claire’s “cousin” out of New Orleans before the wedding, Giraud tells the sea captain and the debt will be paid.
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And Then There Were None (1945) René Clair, Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Crime, Drama, Mystery

And Then There Were None (1945)
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

Porte des Lilas (1957)
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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À nous la liberté (1931) René Clair, Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Rolla France

A nous la liberte (1931)
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

Sous les toits de Paris (1930)
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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