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L'âne de Buridan (1932)

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Cast

Credited cast:
René Lefèvre ...
Georges
Colette Darfeuil ...
Vivette
Mona Goya ...
Micheline
Charles Prince ...
Adolphe
Simone Deguyse ...
Fernande
Mauricet ...
Lucien
Francine Mussey ...
Odette
Alexandre Mihalesco ...
Le photographe
Jean Bara ...
Un petit garçon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jeanne Bernard
Olga Lord
Maximilienne
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A small gem
10 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

"L'Ane de Buridan": Buridan supposedly wrote that text in the 14th century,about an ass that starves to death cause he cannot choose between two identical heaps of oats.."to be like "l'Ane de Buridan" refers to any person who finds it impossible to make up their mind.

Recently restored by "la Cinemathèque Française" with exceptionally good picture and sound ,"l'Ane de Buridan" a very obscure FRench comedy is actually a little treat,a very good surprise.

At a time when many films were filmed stage productions ,Alexandre Ryder's movie ,although first a play, takes place on the seaside ,and some of his sequences seem to have been filmed on location.

Georges is unable to decide between two alternatives (the alternatives are women here) so he says he's through with love and he heads for the seaside in the imaginary town of Saint-Solaire (sic).There's the rub: on the beach,there are plenty of gorgeous women,and thus again the dilemma..

There are many witty nay insolent lines."You are beginning to become clever" the girl says to the lady killer -whose look is not that of a lady killer anyway-.

Fine depiction of a beach in the thirties at a time when only wealthy people could afford the luxury of a seaside stay (it was 1936 before paid vacations happened in France in the wake of the Front Populaire),and where crazy situations abound...

From a photographer trying to sell "a nice souvenir of a sunny day" to a charming brat who puts sand in every pocket around (and compromising letters too),from a Pole woman spouting poems (in Polish) while the audience is yawning ("let's do as in an opera theater: let's not listen!")to the hero who easily "tans" and who's afraid of small octopuses,it's really an enjoyable comedy.

And last by not least: there's a small cartoon included in the movie telling the story of the donkey: such a device was extremely rare at the time,in France of the thirties.


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