This may be a Duvivier movie but this does not derive from Duvivier's kind of stuff to even the smallest extent (Unless one scene counts,I'll return to it afterward).This is a comedy where the phone plays a prominent part,almost as important as in the thriller "sorry wrong number".In a way,it predates the American comedies of the 1935-1945 era.The" symmetrical" scenes when the boss scolds then fires the boy and the girl are a good stroke of inspiration.
Duvivier was a very educated man:to think that in 1932 he had his actors play in two languages (French and German).His actress ,Josette Day ,would be the Beauty in Cocteau's famous "la Belle et la Bête" (1945).She and her male partner are a handsome nice couple ,even if they only meet at the end of the movie.
Cause their "friends " ,in Germany and in France,have taken their place and they have been talking at cross-purposes for almost an hour without realizing it.
There 's a very strange scene:the one in the cabaret where a chanteuse sings a lugubrious tune "Chanson Lasse" (Tired song)while the camera focuses on a Christ (a Christ here?)hanging on the wall .And the emcee announces:"the words to the song are by Julien Duvivier!"It was probably the first time a director's name had been mentioned in his own film.In this short scene,Duvivier "le Mal-Aimant du Cinema Français " reveals himself .
I must be honest:"Allo Berlin ici Paris" is not my cup of tea;Julien Duvivier is my favorite French director,but I like him better when he paints the noir sides of the society we live in.
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