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Second version of a less famous Gaston Leroux's novel;unlike "Mystere De La Chambre Jaune " or "phantom of the opera" ,it's no murder mystery.It's a cross between Dumas's "Conte De Monte Cristo" and Maurice Leblanc's "Arsene Lupin" .The director,Marcello Pagliero,forgets his social concerns ("Un Homme Marche Dans La Ville" "La P.......Respectueuse" and gives pure entertainment stuff.
Shot in color ,which in the French fifties was very rare ,"Cheri Bibi" (which roughly means "darling me" )begins with a young busker and a barker telling the beginning of the story and how much fate was hard on our hero.Drawings summarize the first act of the drama,polished off in five minutes.
When the story really begins ,Cheri Bibi is on a not-so-comfortable ship en route to Cayenne chain gang.All that follows is far-fetched to a fault and includes special surgery ,mutiny,imposture and a wife to win back.
Jean Richard plays two parts and he pulls it off with gusto while Raymond Bussieres provides good support as "La Ficelle " ,always at the beck and call of Cheri Bibi
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