Another settlement of scores for Guitry ;More were to come :"Assassins Et Voleurs" ,"La Poison" ...Guitry who was interned after the Liberation never really got over it."Le Diable Boiteux" (what a title!) is a transparent metaphor and Reductio ad Absurdum (as was often the case with this auteur)that cashing in on all sides,changing sides ,can be "useful" ,good for the homeland ,because if you do it,it is because you do love your country .Anyway opportunism has always been the rule for many politicians and we still find many of these persons today in France or all around the world.And we always will.
"Le Diable Boiteux" might seem less palatable than Guitry 's other "historical " extravaganzas ,particularly in its first part.But it hits its stride halfway and the final is brilliant beyond belief :extraordinary lines ,with puns galore ,wit is here there and everywhere .One thing that Guitry does best: his character gets older and older in front of our eyes ;when he meets the English ambassadors,we really feel he is about to die.Death and obsession for immortality were always present in Guitry 's best later movies.
Outstanding scenes: -the servants ,talking about their master,before HE appears ,a trick Guitry borrowed from Molière.
-the wall with its "long live the emperor" "long live the king" "down with the emperor" "long live the republic" etc...The writing may be on the wall ,but French people are as opportunistic as their leaders ,ready to disown what they liked yesterday.
-the "Restauration" with the three kings ,all waiting for their turn and hoping for an interesting death.
-the meeting in Vienna where the allied (France ain't one of us!they were defeated!),full of finer feelings ,are actually carrion eaters ,ready to carve up Poland and Belgium.
But "Le Diable Boiteux" is so rich a movie everyone will find his favorite sequences .
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