IMDb > The Pearls of the Crown (1937)

The Pearls of the Crown (1937) More at IMDbPro »Les perles de la couronne (original title)

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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sacha Guitry (screenplay) and
Christian-Jaque (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Pearls of the Crown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 April 1938 (USA) See more »
Three narrators (French writer Jean Martin, an English royal equerry, and a papal chamberlain) tell the story of seven matched pearls... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A pearl on Guitry's crown See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Jacqueline Delubac ... Françoise Martin / Marie Stuart / Joséphine de Beauharnais
Sacha Guitry ... Jean Martin / François Ier / Barras / Napoléon III

Lyn Harding ... L'officier du roi (English narrator) / Le roi Henry VIII
Renée Saint-Cyr ... Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne
Enrico Glori ... La camérier du pape (Italian narrator)
Ermete Zacconi ... Le pape Clement VII
Barbara Shaw ... Anne de Boleyn
Marguerite Moreno ... Catherine de Medicis (1860) / L'impératrice Eugénie âgée (1914)

Arletty ... La reine d'Abyssinie

Marcel Dalio ... Le ministre d'Abyssinie (as Dalio)
Claude Dauphin ... Le prisonnier italien en Abyssinie
Robert Seller ... Le prisonnier français en Abyssinie
Ponzio ... Un ouvrier chantant
Andrews Engelmann ... James - le voleur (as Engelman)
Yvette Pienne ... La reine Marie Tudor / La reine Elizabeth I / La reine Victoria âgée

Raimu ... L'industriel du midi
Lisette Lanvin ... La petite femme / La reine Victoria jeune
Pierre Juvenet ... L'expert
Henri Crémieux ... Le commissaire-priseur
Aimé Simon-Girard ... Le roi Henry IV
Germaine Aussey ... Gabrielle d'Estrées

Simone Renant ... Madame Du Barry
Damia ... Une femme du peuple
Di Mazzei ... Un sans-culotte

Jean-Louis Barrault ... Bonaparte jeune (as J.L. Barrault)
Robert Pizani ... Monsieur de Talleyrand (as Pizani)
Émile Drain ... L'empereur Napoléon Ier (1815)

Huguette Duflos ... La reine Hortense
Raymonde Allain ... L'impératrice Eugénie (1865)
Violet Farebrother ... Une vieille lady
Rosine Deréan ... La jeune fille / Catherine d'Aragon
Marie Leconte ... La femme éplorée
Pierre Magnier ... Le vieux seigneur français
Cécile Sorel ... La Française du Grand Siècle
Lilie Granval ... La soprano
Jean Coquelin ... Le vieux bourgeois
Gaston Dubosc ... Le grand-duc
Pauline Carton ... Une femme de chambre
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anaclara ... La négresse
Colette Borelli ... Marie Stuart enfant
Julien Clément ... Le gigolo
Marfa d'Hervilly ... La vieille courtisane
Denis de Marney ... Darnley
Aline Debray
Dynalik ... Le petit rat
Georges Fels
Eugénie Fougère ... La vieille coquette
Gary Garland ... Une passagère sur le Normandie
Anthony Gildès ... Le vieil Hongrois
Georges Grey ... Le jeune Hongrois
Geneviève Guitry (as Geneviève de Saint Jean)
Lautner ... Le Titien
Oléo ... La petite poule
Jacqueline Pacaud ... Jane Seymour
Annie Rozanne
Léon Walther ... Le connétable Anne de Montmorency
Laurence Atkins ... Madame Tallien / Madame d'Etampes (uncredited)
Jacques Berlioz ... Bit part (uncredited)
Humberto Catalano ... Spanelli (uncredited)
James Craven ... Hans Holbein (uncredited)
Derrick De Marney ... Darnley (uncredited)
Fred Duprez ... American (uncredited)

Romuald Joubé ... Clouet (uncredited)
Darling Légitimus ... (uncredited)
Percy Marmont ... Le cardinal Wolsey (uncredited)
Paulette Élambert ... Catherine de Medicis enfant (uncredited)

Directed by
Sacha Guitry 
Writing credits
Sacha Guitry (screenplay) (as L'Auteur) and
Christian-Jaque (screenplay)

Produced by
Serge Sandberg .... producer
Original Music by
Jean Françaix 
Cinematography by
Jules Kruger  (as J. Kruger)
Film Editing by
William Barache  (as W. Barache)
Myriam Borsoutsky  (as Myriam)
Art Direction by
Jean Perrier 
Costume Design by
Georges K. Benda  (as G.K. Benda)
Production Management
François Carron .... unit manager (as F. Caron)
Serge Sandberg .... production manager
René Montis .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marc Fossard .... assistant director
Guy Lacourt .... assistant director
Jeanne Étiévant .... assistant director
Sound Department
Marcel Courmes .... sound recordist (as M. Courmes)
Camera and Electrical Department
Marc Fossard .... assistant camera
Music Department
Georges Derveaux .... conductor (as M. Derveaux)
Orchestre Pasdeloup .... orchestra

Production Companies
  • Cinéas (as une production Serge Sandberg)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Les perles de la couronne" - France (original title)
"Sacha Guitry's The Pearls of the Crown (Les perles de la couronne)" - USA (video box title)
See more »
118 min | USA:105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric)

Did You Know?

This film was first telecast on New York City's pioneer television station W2XBS Friday 2 August 1939. It is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946.See more »


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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A pearl on Guitry's crown, 27 February 2007
Author: dbdumonteil

Do you know who the granddaddy of the Monty Python was?Sacha Guitry is a serious contender."Les Perles de la couronne" was his biggest commercial success and it's still much fun to watch it today.

It was the first of the "historical" movies of the artist: "Si Paris m'était Conté " "Si Versailles m'était Conté " "En Remontant les Champs-Elysées " were to follow.

Guitry was French wit at its best .Only Henri Jeanson could write as good as he could .His is not a vitriolic style like his peer Jeanson,but a sense of humor completely mad which verges on absurd.

Tell me who could put in a two-hour movie FRancois Premier and Henry the Eighth,Mary Stuart and Catherine de Medicis,Henry the Fourth and the popes,Napoleon and JOsephine,Napoleon the Third and Eugenie de Montijo ,the queen of Abyssinia and Elizabeth the First, Madame du Barry and the Sans-Culottes ,a cuckold and a courtesan, three thieves ,one of them being good at maths and logic,Virgin Mary in the flesh (two divine interventions),and more and more and more....??? Madness is everywhere and critic George Sadoul who would dismiss Guitry as "filmed stage production maker" and "as a man contemplating his navel ,if he were here today,should see his objections swept away in a deluge of joyful film making ,which only the snobs will not hear and only the deaf and the blind will not acknowledge.

The extraordinary quality of the screenplay -which is very complicated ,Guitry really invented here the Film à Tiroirs- is one of simple happiness.You should see Ann Boleyn(sic) teach King François's son the indicative present of the verb "to have" (and the obsolete form "thou hast" )."I need an English teacher too,the king says ,would you be my mistress?".This is a film that should be watched in French with English subtitles to enjoy the word games the puns and the gags which show at every minute .

About King Henry the Eighth:"He protested ,he protested ,he protested so much that he became a Protestant!".

The film is marvelously constructed;Sheherazade could not do better even if she tried her best: Once there was a pope who wanted to get rid of his dear niece Catherine's gallant .He had two invaluable pearls so he asked the young man for five more pearls which he would find around the world: around the world in eighty days or more.The Queen of Abyssinia sequence alone is worth the price of admission.Arletty ,with soot or paint smeared all over her face ,can only speak Abyssinian! So it takes three interprets (English,Italian,French ) to translate the sovereign's mumbo jumbo! When the lad came back,the seven pearls were given as a wedding present to Catherine de Medicis.Four pearls ,through the years ,were preserved,but three of them were stolen.Guitry goes backwards and forwards between the present and the past,with absolute virtuosity.And he even manages to make a "poetic" ending : the last pearl gets back to where it once belonged in a way...

Vive Sacha Guitry!

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