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The Baron of the Locks (1960)
"Le baron de l'écluse" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  13 April 1960 (France)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

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Title: The Baron of the Locks (1960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Baron Jérôme Napoléon Antoine
...
Perle Germain-Joubert
Jacques Castelot ...
Marquis de Villamayor
Aimée Mortimer ...
Gaby Bonnetang
Jean Constantin ...
Prince Sadokkan
Robert Dalban ...
Vuillaume
Jacques Hilling ...
Le surveillant des jeux
Alexandre Rignault ...
L'éclusier
Dominique Boschero ...
Brune
Charles Bouillaud ...
Émile
Émile Genevois ...
Un client de l'auberge
Pierre-Louis ...
Georges, le barman (as Pierre Louis)
Gabriel Gobin ...
Valentin
Georges Lycan ...
Le matelot
Cécyl Marcyl ...
La vieille paysanne (as Cecyl Marcil)
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Comedy

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Release Date:

13 April 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Baron na sluzie  »

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User Reviews

Gabin as a Baron in an intelligent,light,very satisfactory,well-crafted comedy!
9 August 2006 | by (CGSM,Soseaua Nationala 49) – See all my reviews

Gabin is unequaled in uttering pleasantly some great comic lines.

"Le Baron ..." has important literary sources:Druon and Simenon.The things that make this film worth watching are:(1)the rich cast (Gabin,of course,but also Mrs. Presle , Mrs. Blanchette Brunoy and Desailly);(2)the script (Druon);(3)the skilled directing (Jean Delannoy ).The movie is supple and sympathetic;it has at least four attractive performances (from Gabin,Micheline Presle, Blanchette Brunoy and Desailly).Gabin has verve,mobility,charm,and acts gaily.He was a full-fledged man in his roles from '55-'57,and now,almost suddenly,in '60,our beloved Gabin is an old-timer already.He is not aristocratic,as Fresnay, Stroheim, Jouvet were,but a very acute,mirthful oldster.(In fact,Gabin was only 56 years old in this movie.)

Mrs. Presle does a part a la Mrs. Taylor;it is not too original,but it is OK.

I knew Desailly from La Peau Douce .

Was Gabin the best choice for a Baron?It is certain that he made the role on his own hand.I guess Fresnay would have made a better character,as he was much more suited to perform an aristocrat.If the choice was mine,I would have chosen another actor to play a baron.(Fresnay was alive when this movie was shot.)But the movie uses the premise that a Baron does not have to look as a Baron.I grant that it is better to have this movie WITH Gabin as a baron,than not to have this Gabin movie at all.The man is not a miscast as Baron Jérôme Napoléon Antoine.He is not necessarily a Baron,but,instead,a very funny and cheerful and pleasing to watch Gabin,who took the opportunity to deliver some tasteful fun,and this is more interesting than any baron on Earth...

"Le Baron ..." is a well-written and well-done comedy,intensely funny,and of an excellent taste (despite the presence of the inevitable,it seems,"popular element":some unkempt rednecks and cunning rustics,some grotesque rusticity,the rural humor,some ruses,things that I abhor,but which are kept,here,within the due limits and do not become stupid).

As an art object "Le Baron ..." is sprightly,intelligent, fluid,well-conceived.No trace of stiffness.

One more word;who was Druon when this movie was released?Well,in '59 appeared La Louve De France /Les Rois Maudits, V,and in '60:Le Lis et Le Lion /Les Rois Maudits, VI.

The entire cast,plus the director Jean Delannoy ,plus the writer:everyone has a merit here,and everyone masters his job.

I intensely recommend this well-thought,lucid and simple comedy,that is light and also cruel,unconventional and quite realistic.There is more than just a bit of bitterness.It is a rare science,to be simultaneously light and bitter.


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