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Drole de Drame (1937)
"Drôle de drame ou L'étrange aventure du Docteur Molyneux" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  20 March 1939 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,145 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 8 critic

A French farce set in Victorian London where a botanist and his wife get into trouble when they pretend to go missing in order to hide from their sanctimonious cousin -- an Anglican bishop who is leading a campaign against such writing.

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(novel), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Jouvet ...
Archibald Soper
Françoise Rosay ...
Margaret Molyneux
...
Irwin Molyneux
...
Billy
...
William Kramps dit Le tueur de bouchers
Nadine Vogel ...
Eva
Pierre Alcover ...
L'inspecteur-chef Bray (as Alcover)
Henri Guisol ...
Buffington
Agnès Capri ...
La chanteuse des rues
René Génin ...
Le balayeur (as Génin)
Ky Duyen ...
L'hôtelier chinois de Soho
Marcel Duhamel ...
Le fêtard amoureux des enterrements
Jane Loury ...
Mrs. McPhearson (as Jeanne Lory)
Madeleine Suffel ...
Victory
Jenny Burnay ...
Madame Pencil
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Storyline

In Victorian London, the botanist Irwin Molyneux and his wife Margaret Molyneux are bankrupted but still keeping the appearance due to the successful crime novels written by Irwin under the pseudonym of Felix Chapel. Their cook has just left the family, when Irwin's snoopy and hypocrite cousin Archibald Soper that is in campaign against the police stories of Felix Chapel invites himself to have dinner in Irwin's house. Margaret decides to keep the farce of their social position secretly cooking the dinner, while the clumsy Irwin justifies her absence telling the bishop Soper that she had just traveled to the country to meet some friends. However Soper suspects of Irwin and calls the Scotland Yard, assuming that his cousin had poisoned his wife. Irwin and Margaret decide to hide the truth to avoid an exposition of their financial situation, moving to a low-budget hotel in the Chinese neighborhood, getting into trouble. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bizarre, Bizarre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 23 days. See more »

Quotes

The Bishop: Moi j'ai dit bizarre, bizarre ? Comme c'est étrange... Pourquoi aurais-je dit bizarre, bizarre ?
Molyneux (Michel Simon): Je vous assure, cher cousin, que vous avez dit bizarre, bizarre.
The Bishop: Moi j'ai dit bizarre ? Comme c'est bizarre...
See more »


Soundtracks

Complainte
Written by Jacques Prévert
Composed by Maurice Jaubert
Performed by Agnès Capri
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User Reviews

Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet
14 September 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Of the seven films written by Jacques Prevert and directed by Marcel Carne I have now seen five - and I have the published screenplay of 'Jenny' their initial collaboration and now the only one I have yet to see. This is the kind of film that brings out the hybridologist in reviewers, the Marx Brothers Meet Mel Brooks type of Screamers and it has to be said that the film does lend itself to that type of journo's trick. Of course any film written by Prevert and directed by Carne is going to be worth seeing whatever the story and whoever the cast. In terms of cast this is a doozy; Michel Simon, Francoise Rosay, Louis Jouvet, Jean-Louis Barrault, Jean-Pierre Aumont, on the surface the cream of French cinema between the wars, but if we stop and look again we realize that what we have here is a series of disparate acting styles so the logical question is what type of story can possibly accommodate this bizarre melange. Answer: Precisely the sort of story Prevert has supplied in which a group of top French actors are transplanted to Edwardian London and given names like Archibald Soper, Irwin Molyneux, William Kramps and, wait for it, Billy, The Milkman. Do we really need a plot after this? Well, in case the answer is yes how about a hypocritical bishop (Jouvet) who gets his kicks denouncing detective fiction (this was in its heyday in 1937, when the film was made, but hardly causing much of a stir in Edwardian England) whilst his cousin (Simon) leads a double life as a timid gardener who moonlights as a best-selling author of detective fiction. When Soper invites himself to lunch at his cousin's London home, the lady of the house (Francoise Rosay) having antagonised the staff to the point of their departure, prepares the meal herself and then, on grounds of rampant snobbery, absents herself for the duration. From this seemingly innocuous move Soper convinces himself that Molyneux has murdered his wife and the scene is set for things to spin in ever widening circles. Still a huge hit in France and shown regularly on TV it has never, to my knowledge, played in England. Seeing it for the first time in 2004 I was completely captivated and drawn into its spiralling plot. 9/10


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