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The Horse Ate the Hat (1928)

Un chapeau de paille d'Italie (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 13 January 1928 (France)
On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard's horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Fadinard has to find the very same rare hat to ... See full summary »


René Clair


René Clair, Eugène Labiche (play) | 1 more credit »

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Credited cast:
Alice Tissot Alice Tissot ... Une cousine (as Mme Alice Tissot)
Alexis Bondireff Alexis Bondireff ... Un cousin (as M. Alexis Bondi)
Marise Maia Marise Maia ... La mariée (as Mlle Maryse Maia)
Yvonneck Yvonneck ... Nonancourt (as M. Yvonneck)
Louis Pré Fils Louis Pré Fils ... Cousin Bobin (as M. Pré fils)
Albert Préjean ... Fadinard, le marié (as M. Albert Préjean)
Geymond Vital ... Le lieutenant Tavernier (as M. Vital Geymond)
Olga Tschechowa ... Anaïs de Beauperthuis (as Mme Olga Tschekova)
Paul Ollivier Paul Ollivier ... L'oncle Vézinet (as M. Paul Olivier)
Alex Allin Alex Allin ... Félix (as M. Alex Allin)
André Volbert André Volbert ... Le maire (as M. Volbert)
Jim Gérald Jim Gérald ... Beauperthuis (as M. Jim Gérald)
Lillian Beck Lillian Beck ... Une invitée de la noce (as M. Jim Gérald)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Berline Berline ... Une invitée de la noce
Lya Christy Lya Christy ... Une invitée de la noce (as Christie)


On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard's horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Fadinard has to find the very same rare hat to avoid her dishonor. This will greatly disturb his own marriage. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated



France | Germany



Release Date:

13 January 1928 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Horse Ate the Hat See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Albatros See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (2016 restoration)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Restored in April 2016 through a partnership between the Cinematheque Francaise and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, with the support of the CNC and Arte France. The new 4K restoration is based on the René Clair's original camera negative which is preserved at the Cinematheque Francaise. See more »


After the chair has been loaded onto the cart in a medium shot, the next long shot shows it in a different position. See more »


Version of Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

But it's so slow!
9 August 2006 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

I have to confess that I was left bemused by the warm, not to say rapturous, audience comments I overheard when leaving the cinema. I can easily credit that it benefits from a live accompaniment rather than whatever music was applied to the soundtrack on a home video release -- but I found the pacing of the film slow and verging on funereal, the plot a strained farce revolving around a comedy of 19th-century manners already outdated in the 1920s, and the characters so unsympathetic that I caught myself feeling gratified when it looked as if the seething husband was about to blow the deception wide open. There were times when I was in sympathy with the gentleman sitting at the end of my row, who intermittently let out choked snores before jerking awake.

The film has its moments, but overall I found it disconcertingly tedious -- shots seem to be repeated and lingered upon beyond humour, and for no clear reason. The opening scenes are a pretty fair sample of the pacing and style throughout, as the various members of the bridal party experience problems in dressing, in a sequence that feels as if it extends a good five minutes: it's mildly amusing, but it's mainly 'situation' comedy in which the characterisations themselves are supposed to be funny rather than anything they actually do, and it goes on and on. Similarly, in the finale, after the plot is unravelled in what seems intended to be the end, a series of half a dozen impressionistic epilogues follow one after another, with no sign of when the film is ever going to stop...

The mechanics of the farce depend on stock characters: the endlessly-fainting lady, the insanely insistent lover, the stone-deaf old man. Gags that are eventually funny -- e.g. the mass adjustment of ties during the civil ceremony -- are built up to via enormous layering and labouring of detail. The idiom is, I suspect, to me a basically alien one; but it's the timing that really hurts as far as entertainment goes. I don't care for slapstick, but this film goes to the opposite extreme -- clearly too sophisticated for my uncultured taste to handle.

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