HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Drole de Drame Geddit?
Year: 1937
Director: Marcel Carné
Stars: Louis Jouvet, Françoise Rosay, Michel Simon, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Jean-Louis Barrault, Nadine Vogel, Pierre Alcover, Henri Guisol, Agnès Capri, René Génin, Ky Duyen, Marcel Duhamel, Jane Loury, Madeleine Suffel, Jenny Burnay, Claudye Carter, Jean Marais
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In this church hall in London there is a meeting being held by a clergyman, Archibald Soper (Louis Jouvet), who has identified a dreadful new menace in the modern world: crime fiction. These books, he avers, do nothing but lead their readers astray with their lurid tales of wrongdoing and supposed excitements based around the criminal classes, and he is here to tell the assembled listeners, all ten of them, that something must be done. As he harangues the audience, his cousin Irwin Molyneux (Michel Simon) appears, a slow-thinking botanist to all appearances, but actually the author of the type of novel Soper is outraged about...

If you knew Marcel Carné at all, it would be for his classic doomed romance Les Enfants du Paradis, famously filmed in harrowing circumstances as the Nazis occupied Paris during World War Two. And if you knew that, you would doubtless know his other works from the thirties which went some way to establishing the basics of film noir in the next decade, but Drole de Dame was a different kettle of fish entirely. As if he were a great tragedian wishing to prove himself equally adept at getting the laughs from the audience as he was the tears, this little item demonstrated his would-be flair for comedy, not his accustomed forte.

It was essentially a farce at the expense of their neighbours across the Channel, sending up the petty class obsessions and the double standards of British society as Carné and his writer Jacques Prévert saw them (drawn from a novel of the day), but for most the reaction would not be "Ah! Bravo monsieurs! You have skewered an entire nation's mores and foibles!" but more "WTF?" as the plot wound its way around an escalating series of bizarre events (it's sometimes titled Bizarre, Bizarre for foreign audiences after an all too apt line of dialogue halfway through). One thing everyone agreed on was the cast were on excellent form, so if you were increasingly baffled you would still appreciate the skill.

And who knows, maybe laugh too? Although you had the impression of a willing bunch of actors working wonders with slightly below par material, when this was funny it was very funny, and when it was bizarre it was certainly strange in an almost alien fashion, whether that be from culture shock or the passing of the years, but few in Britain would recognise the fanciful version of their homeland in this, even allowing for the remove of a century or so. Presumably this had the French rolling in the aisles, but for example the milkman who makes deliveries sporting a top hat and furnishes the Molyneux household with hundreds of bottles which nobody seems to drink was less satire and more curious in its references to a line of humour difficult to fathom.

Or perhaps they were just being silly, this was supposed to make you chortle after all, so when Soper's crusade against pulp fiction goes off the rails, so do the lives of almost everyone else as Irwin, who frets lovingly over his momosas (which he has managed to get drunk somehow), finds himself at the centre of a real life murder plot when the population believe he has killed his wife Margaret (Françoise Rosay), who likes the idea of anonymity but necessitates the use of a false beard on Irwin so he can disguise himself, even though it's blatantly him beneath the whiskers. Just when you thought you were gaining a foothold in this, a vegetarian murderer who loves animals but thinks nothing of bumping off butchers who kill them for meat pops up and becomes the best friend Irwin has ever had, and so it goes on, like a vintage, Gallic Monty Python sketch as Soper ends up dressed as a Scotsman and passersby are coshed for their buttonholes to collect a flower arrangement. True, this is amusing, but quite what they were getting at resides with the filmmakers. Music by Maurice Jaubert.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1401 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: