A man is charged with murder. He is Pigoil, the aging stage manager at Chansonia, a music hall in a Paris faubourg. His confession is a long flashback to New Year's Eve, 1935, when he ... See full summary »
In 1942, in an occupied Paris, the apolitical grocer Edmond Batignole lives with his wife and daughter in a small apartment in the building of his grocery. When his future son-in-law and ... See full summary »
A man is charged with murder. He is Pigoil, the aging stage manager at Chansonia, a music hall in a Paris faubourg. His confession is a long flashback to New Year's Eve, 1935, when he discovers his wife is unfaithful and Galapiat, the local mobster, closes the music hall. Over the next few months, Pigoil loses custody of his beloved son, Jo-Jo, and must find work. Pigoil and his pals take over the Chansonia as a co-op; Galapiat is momentarily benign. Their star is the young Douce, a girl from near Lille for whom Galapiat lusts. She in turn falls in love with Milou, a local Red. There are ups and downs, but mostly ups - but what about Jo-Jo and what about the murder? Written by
The old man, Monsieur TSF, who stays in his apartment is named after the original French name for radio: "Telediffusion Sans Fil", which means "Wireless Broadcasting" in French, abbreviated "TSF". See more »
When Jacky accidentally turns on the radio while Pigoil is talking to his wife and her new lover, the radio is very loud immediately after Jacky flips the switch. On this type of old tube amplified radio, it would take several seconds for the tubes to heat up and amplify any signal, and the volume would go up very slowly. See more »
Lovely French movie, tailor-made for fans of foreign films
Pigoil (Gerard Jugnot) runs a small vaudeville like theater, the Chansonia, in the Faubourg section of Paris. His wife is a "star" of the theater and the rest of the performers are a tight-knit group. Perhaps, too close, for Pigoil is given a double whammy one day. First, his wife has been sleeping with not one, but, two of the other troupe members and, even more sadly, the owner of the building can not pay his debts (it is the depression everywhere) and commits suicide. Soon, Pigoil and his young, idolized son Jojo are barely scraping by. But, then, Pigoil makes a deal with the Fascist like gentleman who truly runs the neighborhood. Can his show group have one month to make the theater profitable again? The ruthless man agrees to give them a chance, for he has his eye on one of their newest performers, a beautiful young singer named Douce. Will the Chansonia become successful once more? This is an unusual look at life in the depression, for it has a French setting, where fascism was brewing in neighboring Germany and in France. There are many subplots to the main one, including one of an agoraphobic music teacher, residing across from the Chansonia, who was once a leading song writer and who has an unlikely connection to Douce. Needless to say, the recreation of the former theater district is very fine, as are the costumes, the cast, the story, and the direction. Therefore, if you like foreign films and unusual tales, put this on your list for future viewing. It is a fine example of quality French cinematic achievements.
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