Saint-Maurice, an ordinary peaceful village, lived healthily so much so that the local doctor's practice was scant. But that was before Dr. Parpalaid retired and was replaced by a charlatan... See full summary »
In this Franco-Italian gangster parody, a shop keeper on his way to an Italian holiday suffers a crash which totals his car. The culprit can only compensate his ruined trip by driving an ... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
Life story of a charming scoundrel, with little dialogue other than the star/director's witty narration. As a boy, only he survives a family tragedy when he's deprived of supper (poisonous ... See full summary »
A RAF Bomber is shot down over Paris by the Germans. Its crew (Terry Thomas as a flight captain) land there by parachute. With the help of some French civilians (Louis De Funès in the role ... See full summary »
Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ... See full summary »
Three narrators (French writer Jean Martin, an English royal equerry, and a papal chamberlain) tell the story of seven matched pearls, four of them now in the British Crown. Episodes whirl ... See full summary »
Charles Bosquier, a role apparently written for French comedy superstar Louis de Funès, is the dictatorial headmaster of a French strict boarding school. No father could be deeper shocked ... See full summary »
One is perfectly justified to see this as social satire, but for me Guthry's "La poison" (1951) is, above all, an easygoing, darkly humorous and witty pastiche on acting in all its forms taking on roles in marriage, in society, in one's own eyes, in others' eyes, and of course, in a film. The opening introductory credit sequence sets the mood perfectly, as there we are explicitly shown that we will witness a performance that has been carefully planned, all actors, actresses and staff selected. I don't think this is just a stylistic whim of exuberance, it's an actual set-up for us. There are several references to theatre with exits and entrances through doors, and space is handled with confines, scenes as separate entities, spaces as separate entities. And then there's the central scene in the lawyer's office, where they literally create a fabrication that when inverted becomes the desired reality for Simon's character. Reconstruction, deconstruction, all of this means the same in this wonderful scene.
The chimera and the clown, death and joy that's what the film is also about. This contrast of tragedy and comedy, its light-hearted darkness, presents itself also in the title, playing with the meaning of poison ("le poison" in French, with the masculine article) and the mocking identifier "la poison" (with the feminine article) given to well, by all means watch the film and you'll find out.
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