Someone is murdering the owners of a string of nightclubs, one of which, The Plantation, is unexpectedly bequeathed to a student (Odette Joyeux) on condition that she manages the club in person for a month. In order to give herself some authority, she poses as the wife of a wealthy Englishman, Steve Richardson. But then the mysterious Mr Richardson (Paul Meurisse) shows up in person...
"Scandale" is a comedy thriller that doesn't really get going until the arrival of Paul Meurisse over halfway through the picture. From that point on, though, it's pure gold, with the ditzy Joyeux and the dapper Meurisse forming a wonderful pair of romantic sparring partners. There's an obvious Hollywood influence in this comedy relationship, and it's all to the good.
In one scene Meurisse shoots his way into Joyeux's bedroom, twirls his gun, pours himself a drink, then removes her shoes and tickles her toes to revive her from a pretended faint. And all without a flicker across his face. Though best known internationally as the evil headmaster in "Les Dialobiques", Meurisse really excelled at these deadpan comedy roles, importing a British style of dry black humour into French film.
Sadly, the first half of the picture, in which Joyeux's comic partner is a talking parrot, is not nearly so good.
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