Is this a great movie as movie historians speak of great movies, another Les règles du jeu? No. Is it enjoyable to watch - and watch again? Yes, very much so. As the other reviewer says, it is a very impressionistic presentation of many of the memorable moments in Paris history, often done quite quickly. Some of the dialog is wonderful. (It's no surprise that the Parisian Guitry most admires is Voltaire, whom he presents as the creator of French esprit.) My copy doesn't have English subtitles, and I don't know if such a version exists. They would have to be very good indeed to capture the wit of the original French.
What anyone can enjoy, however, without understanding a word of what is said, is the incredible series of remarkably beautiful women. It is as if Guitry convinced every beautiful actress in France to do a cameo in this movie. And there is not a dumb one in the group. They all deliver their lines with éclat.
Often, I suspect, if you don't know something about French history, there won't be enough in this movie to explain some of the incidents to you. It was clearly made for a French audience who would know who all these people were without requiring detailed explanations.
A nice way to spend 2 hours.
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