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Elena and Her Men (1956)
"Elena et les hommes" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  31 December 1956 (Italy)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 989 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 18 critic

Polish countess Elena falls in love to a Frensh radical party's candidate, a general, in pre world war I Paris, but another officer pines for her.

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Writers:

(scenario & adaptation and dialogue), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Elena Sokorowska
...
Général François Rollan
...
Le comte Henri de Chevincourt
Jean Richard ...
Hector
Juliette Gréco ...
Miarka, la gitane (as Juliette Greco)
Pierre Bertin ...
Martin-Michaud
Dora Doll ...
Rosa la Rose
Frédéric Duvallès ...
Gaudin
Renaud Mary ...
Fleury
Jacques Morel ...
Duchêne
Albert Rémy ...
Buchez
Jean Claudio ...
Lionel Villaret
Mirko Ellis ...
Marbeau
Jacques Hilling ...
Lisbonne
Jacques Jouanneau ...
Eugène Martin-Michaud
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Storyline

Polish countess Elena falls in love to a Frensh radical party's candidate, a general, in pre world war I Paris, but another officer pines for her. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Only Thing Gayer Than April in Paris is Bergman in Paris!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1956 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Elena and Her Men  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 17272. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are a newspaper wedding announcement for the film's characters which includes the actors' names in parenthesis. See more »


Soundtracks

Le bon roi Dagobert
(traditional)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"When it comes to living, you can count on the French"
4 October 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

After watching two of his silent shorts, 'Elena and her Men (1956)' is my first feature-length film from French director Jean Renoir, and I quite enjoyed it. However, I didn't watch the film for Renoir, but for star Ingrid Bergman, who – at age 41 – still radiated unsurpassed beauty, elegance and charm. Throughout the early 1950s, following her scandalous marriage to Italian Roberto Rossellini, Bergman temporarily fell out of public favour. Her next five films, directed by her husband, were unsuccessful in the United States, and I suspect that Renoir's latest release did little to enhance Bergman's popularity with English-speaking audiences {however, she did regain her former success with an Oscar in the same year's 'Anastasia (1956)'}. She stars as Elena Sokorowska, a Polish princess who sees herself as a guardian angel of sorts, bringing success and recognition to promising men everywhere, before promptly abandoning them. While working her lucky charms to aid the political aspirations of the distinguished General Francois Rollan (Jean Marais), she finds herself falling into a love that she won't be able to walk away from. This vaguely-political film works well as either a satire or a romantic comedy, as long as you don't take it too seriously; it's purely lighthearted romantic fluff.

Filmed in vibrant Technicolor, 'Elena and her Men' looks terrific as well, a flurry of bright colours, characters and costumes. Bergman's Polish princess is dreamy and somewhat self-absorbed, not in an unlikable way, but hardly a woman of high principles and convictions. She is persuaded by a team of bumbling government conspirators to convince General Rollan to stage a coup d'état, knowingly exploiting his love for her in order to satisfy her own delusions as a "guardian angel." Perhaps the film's only legitimately virtuous character is Henri de Chevincourt (Mel Ferrer, then Audrey Hepburn's husband), who ignores everybody else's selfish secondary motives and pursues Elena for love, and love alone. This, Renoir proudly suggests, is what the true French do best. 'Elena and her Men' also attempts, with moderate success, to expose the superficiality of upper-class French liaisons, through the clumsy philandering of Eugène (Jacques Jouanneau), who can't make love to his servant mistress without his fiancè walking in on them. For these sequences, Renoir was obviously trying for the madcap sort of humour that you might find in a Marx Brothers film, but the film itself is so relaxed and laid-back that the energy just isn't there.


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