7.6/10
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13 user 11 critic

Bizarre, Bizarre (1937)

Drôle de drame (original title)
In Victorian London, a Crime Novelist and his Wife fake their disappearance in order to hide from an uptight Anglican Bishop who is leading a campaign against the "evils" of crime fiction.

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Writers:

(novel) (as Storer Clouston), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Margaret Molyneux
...
Irwin Molyneux
...
Billy
...
William Kramps dit Le tueur de bouchers
Nadine Vogel ...
Eva
...
L'inspecteur-chef Bray (as Alcover)
...
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

Taglines:

A sly French farce burlesquing the British

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bizarre, Bizarre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Un compositeur pour le cinéma: Maurice Jaubert (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Complainte
Music by Maurice Jaubert
Lyrics by Jacques Prévert
Performed by Agnès Capri
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User Reviews

 
A Gallic Fantasy clearly above the heads of us Paysans et Rosbifs
28 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a really strange film tailored exclusively to Gallic tastes and humour, and not wholly comprehensible to the rest of us. It is not in any particular genre, and is extremely difficult to describe. Based on the 1937 novel by Storer Clouston 'His First Offence', the script is by Jacques Prevert, who wrote 'Les Enfants du Paradis' and 'Le Quai des Brunes', and did numerous films with the brilliant director Marcel Carne. In this film, they wander off into fantasyland with a flavour of Rene Clair about it. Jean-Louis Barrault, always compulsive viewing, here plays a psychopathic murderer who longs to tell everyone about it. (He only kills butchers, because they kill animals, as he enthusiastically says with wide-open, eager and innocent eyes.) Barrault's lithe physical movements and performance are spell-binding. Michel Simon is utterly charming as an old codger who lives two contradictory lives. The costumes of this bizarre tale are outlandish and overblown fantasy creations, and remind one of circus clowns. The whole thing is a kind of joke, an antidote perhaps to 'Le Quai des Brunes' with its gloom. This is very much a 'let's go out and play!' type of project, set in 'a faraway land of which we know nothing', otherwise called Victorian London. 'Express Dairy' and 'Bed and Breakfast' signs appear as faux touches of authenticity in such strange settings as Limehouse, the old China Town, complete with slinking Orientals who smash people over the head to steal their lapel buttonhole flowers in order to make up a vase-full, one by one. There is nothing at all normal anywhere in this tale, from the feeding of flies one by one to carnivorous plants (stuffed down their gullets), the delicate tending of a mimosa bush which is then dug up to look for a buried body, a kitchen full of one hundred unopened milk bottles, a bishop who disguises himself as a Highlander in a kilt, a man who is 'not recognised' simply by putting on a false beard, various people accused of murder when no murder can be proved because no one has died, and so on. It is a veritable parade of impossible fantasies, strung out on a washing line for our amused inspection. Prevert was clearly pulling a Surrealist stunt here. The mannered acting of most of the characters may be hilarious to the French (or perhaps the French of 1937 anyway), but to us is more like what we would expect to see in a school play. This appears to be an attempt to make a 'French farce'. I dunno ...


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