When watching "La Crise est Finie", you won't believe that it was actually directed by the guy who would direct years later "The Killers" with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner, one of the best films noirs ever made. Robert Siodmak's career in France was never as brilliant as it would become in Hollywood, but at least he managed to fit in the French cinema production of the 30s and did it nicely. This charming old-fashioned musical is worth watching if you enjoy this type of film.
As many comedies of the Depression era, "La Crise est Finie" was clearly designed to relieve the fear and tension of depression life. The lyrics of the theme song are simply amazing when one thinks of the time they were written ("La crise est finie / La crise est finie / Nous vivons l'âge d'or" -- "The slump is over / The slump is over / We live in a Golden Age"). The plot is about the ups and downs of a troupe of young comedians trying to set up a new show -- no more, no less. The film is incredibly bold in some of its innuendos (see for instance how the young women of the troupe try to seduce dirty old men to get props for the show!). But the real gem of the film is Danielle Darrieux. Leading the film with Albert Préjean who was too old for his part (but who cares anyway?), she was already natural, fresh, sparkling (and only 17!). Films like this one made her the biggest female star in pre-war France. No wonder. And then there is her singing! (If you want to hear more of her singing, you should check out "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort" where she was the only actress in the cast not to be dubbed in her songs, and if you can't stand subtitles, then check out "Rich, Young and Pretty". Yes, there is much more to DD's filmography than "8 Women". If you can never tired of her (as I do, most of the time), watch everything she did with Max Ophuls: the films are all great).
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