It's hard to imagine it's the same person (spelled Jack) who would make "Cat people" "Out of the past" or "night of the demon".
Fact: Maurice Tourneur ,his dad,left France for the broader horizons of Hollywood .He made movies there ("torment" 1924) and made sure that his son was carefully taught.Then Maurice came back in France in the thirties with his offspring who began to try his hand at movies too..
This is an almost Chaplinesque little film.Anyway,Charlie Chaplin is present in the movie:if you watch carefully ,you will notice his head,on Aunt Sally at the fair.Many sequences -the first one notably and the one when the prisoners walk round and round and pass a cigar to each other - are silent and are some kind of tribute to that now defunct art.
But it is ,for the time,a thoroughly modern film ,far from the theatrical tradition in which many a French director was still working (Lherbier,Gance,Pagnol).This is cinema which takes place in the streets ,in a beauty contest ,or in a jail.It's anything but static.
Patrick Préjean sings two songs including "J'ai un secret" (I've got a secret).He plays a semi-tramp with gusto.
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