In Victorian London, a Crime Novelist and his Wife fake their disappearance in order to hide from an uptight Anglican Bishop who is leading a campaign against the "evils" of crime fiction.


Marcel Carné


J. Storer Clouston (novel) (as Storer Clouston), Marcel Carné | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Françoise Rosay ... Margaret Molyneux
Michel Simon ... Irwin Molyneux
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Billy
Louis Jouvet ... Archibald Soper
Nadine Vogel Nadine Vogel ... Eva
Henri Guisol ... Buffington
Jenny Burnay ... Madame Pencil
Agnès Capri Agnès Capri ... La chanteuse des rues
Annie Carriel Annie Carriel ... Elisabeth Soper - la femme de l'évêque
Jane Loury Jane Loury ... Mrs. McPhearson (as Jeanne Lory)
Madeleine Suffel Madeleine Suffel ... Victory
Sinoël Sinoël ... Le gardien de prison
René Génin ... Le balayeur (as Génin)
Max Morise Max Morise ... James, le domestique des Molyneux
Marcel Duhamel Marcel Duhamel ... Le fêtard amoureux des enterrements


In Victorian London, the botanist Irwin Molyneux and his wife Margaret Molyneux are bankrupted but still keeping the appearance due to the successful crime novels written by Irwin under the pseudonym of Felix Chapel. Their cook has just left the family, when Irwin's snoopy and hypocrite cousin Archibald Soper that is in campaign against the police stories of Felix Chapel invites himself to have dinner in Irwin's house. Margaret decides to keep the farce of their social position secretly cooking the dinner, while the clumsy Irwin justifies her absence telling the bishop Soper that she had just traveled to the country to meet some friends. However Soper suspects of Irwin and calls the Scotland Yard, assuming that his cousin had poisoned his wife. Irwin and Margaret decide to hide the truth to avoid an exposition of their financial situation, moving to a low-budget hotel in the Chinese neighborhood, getting into trouble. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A sly French farce burlesquing the British




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Did You Know?


Shot in 23 days. See more »


The Bishop: Moi j'ai dit bizarre, bizarre ? Comme c'est étrange... Pourquoi aurais-je dit bizarre, bizarre ?
Molyneux (Michel Simon): Je vous assure, cher cousin, que vous avez dit bizarre, bizarre.
The Bishop: Moi j'ai dit bizarre ? Comme c'est bizarre...
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Music by Maurice Jaubert
Lyrics by Jacques Prévert
Performed by Agnès Capri
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User Reviews

Too screwball for my taste...
6 July 2008 | by otth-1See all my reviews

I know, Marcel Carné is a genius of a filmmaker, the actors in the film are the cream-de-la-cream of French cinema of the 30s an onward, BUT - this film here lacks so much of a coherent storyline that I dropped out about 3/4 of the way.

In my humble opinion, a film first and foremost should be intelligent in what it tries to tell. Film-making is storytelling. Art-pour-l'art is a pretentious pose. Hiding a week storyline behind "artful" filming is a shame.

The great Marcel Carné obviously made better films than this one. Quai de Brumes, made just one year later (in 1938) is a stand-out example and small wonder it is unforgettable even today. Nobody can ever forget Jean Gabin's both subdued and passionate acting.

Here, in Drole de Drame, we have great actors going wild until everything gets absolutely out of control. The classic screwball comedy of a type never seen before in French cinema (and, possibly, never after). The whole is overdone, unfortunately. This makes you cringe and lose interest.

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Release Date:

20 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drole de Drame See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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