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Immortal France (1943)

Untel père et fils (original title)
| Drama, War | 1945 (USA)
The story of how the people of Paris cope with the strains and struggles of war, from the siege of the city by the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 to the invasion by the Germans in World War II.

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(dialogue), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
L'oncle Jules Froment
...
Marie Froment-Léonard
...
Pierre Froment / Félix Froment
Suzy Prim ...
Estelle Froment adulte
Renée Devillers ...
Gabrielle Froment
Georges Biscot ...
Noblet (as Biscot)
Colette Darfeuil ...
L'entraîneuse habituée du Moulin Rouge
Harry Krimer ...
Robert Léonard
René Génin ...
Le père de Gabrielle (as Génin)
...
Le maire (as Ledoux)
...
Clémenceau
Jean Mercanton ...
Alain Froment
Lucien Nat ...
Bernard Froment adulte
René Bergeron ...
Sénéchal (as Bergeron)
Colette Borelli ...
Estelle enfant
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Storyline

The story of how the people of Paris cope with the strains and struggles of war, from the siege of the city by the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 to the invasion by the Germans in World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Immortal France  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in 1940 but not released in France until November 1945 because of the war. It was released in the US as "Heart of a Nation" in 1943. See more »

Soundtracks

Quand Madelon
(uncredited)
Music by Camille Robert
Lyrics by Louis Bousquet
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User Reviews

All this and three wars too...
25 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

Strange destiny that the one of this movie.Shot in 1940,it was actually released after the Liberation,(in 1945,not 1943)at least in France.It is easy to see why.It encompasses seventy years,from 1871 to 1940,and its last pictures show an old couple,praying in a church at the beginning of WW2.

In a nutshell,it's a very kitsch work,which has not worn well.It must have seemed obsolete even for the 1945 audience.It's almost impossible to feel Duvivier's touch in this family saga ,full of mushy scenes,most of them laughable .Duvivier is a very pessimistic director whose best works ("la belle équipe"(1936) "pépé le moko" (1937) "la fin du jour " (1939) "panique" (1946) and "voici le temps des assassins"(1956))are close to film noir.Duvivier needs a compact screenplay,his art becomes null and void when it comes to depict a lot of characters during a long long long time.Besides,"untel père et fils" is much too short -hardly 80 minutes- and does not rise to the occasion as far ambition is concerned.The pace is very fast(eg:five minutes are given over to WW1!!),sometimes it becomes impossible to follow the plot and to know who is who-eg:Louis Jouvet appears at the beginning of the movie,playing both the father and the son,then disappears during one entire hour, just to reappear,in an absurd way ,ten minutes before the end.

Enough is enough!the 1870 war,WW1,and the beginning of WW2,Montmartre and the artists,la Commune,the building of the Sacre-Coeur,Moulin Rouge and the de rigueur French cancan,the beginnings of the flying machines,the woman with a gold heart who devotes her life to the Sick and the Poor -who predates the Occupation melodrama,the likes of Jean Stelli's 1942 "le voile bleu"(American remake "Blue Veil" in 1951 by Curtis Bernardt)- and Raimu , his Marseilles accent and his bouillabaisse. Stuffing all this and three wars too in such a short film is quite a feat in itself but it does not make a masterwork for all that.

Julien Duvivier is a wonderful director,but if you want to see something really great,just pick up one of the works I mention above.This one is nothing more than a curio.


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