In his best movies Christian-Jaque showed he had remained childlike :"Les Disparus De Saint-Agil " "L"Assassinat Du Père Noel" and even his ("imagine there 's no countries ") "Si Tous Les Gars Du Monde" bore this out.
We find at least three characters in ¨"Premier Bal" who are still leaving in the past: the clockmaker(Ledoux) ,marveling at his clocks,striking together (and the incredibly scene of his death ,when after these chimes of goodbye,time stands still ;it's the exact equivalent of Johnny Cash's marvelous "grandftaher's clock");his daughter Nic (Déa),a girl who likes the animals the vet is taking care of and she even buys a monkey called Bamboula ;the vet himself (Périer) ,a shy young man.
"Premier Bal " uses Racine's Andromaque pattern:Ernest loves Nic who does not love him;Nic loves Jean who does not love her;Jean loves Dominique,Nic's sister who loves nobody but herself.But further acquaintance shows this: like in "Un De La Legion" ,comedy turns into drama.The turning point is ,like in Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" ,the ball ,their first one (check the title).After the ball ,there's a crack in the mirror .It's a rude awakening and CJ quite succeeds in his change of "key".
Fernand Ledoux and Marie Déa would play again father-and-daughter in Marcel Carné's classic "Les Visiteurs Du Soir" .
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