Did You Know?
The film's star, Robert Hugues-Lambert
, was absent from the premiere - because he was in a Nazi concentration camp. A few weeks before the end of the shooting, Lambert had been arrested by the Gestapo in a gay bar and sent to Drancy concentration camp, just outside Paris. Without its main actor, the production was forced to close down. André Tranché
, the producer, now facing bankruptcy, tried to have Lambert released, but in vain. After several agonizing and costly weeks, a replacement was found in the person of the newcomer Henri Vidal
, who looked uncannily like Lambert - but didn't sound like him. The production shut down once again. Tranché managed to get in touch with Robert Hugues-Lambert in Drancy and begged him to record the dialogues from behind the camp's barbed-wired fence. Lambert accepted and a sound engineer, a boom, and a microphone were secretly dispatched to Drancy where all the remaining dialogue was recorded with the complicity of one of the camp's guards. The film was finally completed on schedule and released in November 1943. Despite several other attempts to have him freed or transferred to another prison, Lambert died in a German concentration camp in 1944. See more
Referenced in Le plus beau pays du monde