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Gabriel de Gravone
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Michel, a Parisian artist, is being hounded by numerous impatient creditors. To make things worse, when he is embracing the woman whose portrait he is painting, he is surprised by his indignant fiancée Béatrice. Suddenly, Michel learns that he holds the winning ticket in the Dutch Lottery. But when he goes to retrieve the ticket from the pocket of his jacket, he finds that Béatrice has given the jacket to a stranger who was in need. Now everyone has a keen interest in finding that jacket. Written by
Besides being very amusing, this French musical feature is quite creative as well. René Clair's light touch is perfect for the material, and it gives the movie a style all its own. In particular, it stands out as one of the best of the earlier sound movies that adopted a musical format.
The story is the kind of simple but amusing premise that, in the right hands, can be built up into a hilarious situation. And that is what Clair does here - beginning with some entertaining misadventures that introduce the characters, he then sets up the main story about the lottery ticket, and from there on it builds up nicely both in humor and in complexity. The climactic sequence in the opera house is a well-crafted, extended slapstick sequence that also includes some interesting parallels.
The cast works well, with Annabella particularly standing out with her engaging performance as Béatrice.
The style is an interesting contrast from what eventually became the norm in movie musicals. The musical sequences, which vary considerably in length, are for the most part worked naturally into the flow of events, rather than being set off as separate numbers. Clair and the cast make this format work well. The overall result is a very enjoyable movie that you will also remember for its imaginative approach.
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