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La tendre ennemie (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 30 May 1938 (USA)
Two ghosts attend an engagement party, unseen by the other guests. One ghost, Dupont, is the father of the bride-to-be. He looks back on his marriage to her mother. His wife Annette was ... See full summary »


Max Ophüls


Curt Alexander (screenplay), André-Paul Antoine (novel) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Simone Berriau Simone Berriau ... Annette Dupont, l'ennemie
Catherine Fonteney Catherine Fonteney ... La Mère
Laure Diana Laure Diana ... La Poule
Jacqueline Daix Jacqueline Daix ... Line - la fille de l'ennemie
Georges Vitray Georges Vitray ... Dupont
Lucien Nat Lucien Nat ... Le Promis
Pierre Finaly Pierre Finaly ... L'oncle Émile
Henri Marchand ... Extra
Maurice Devienne Maurice Devienne ... Le Fiancé
Camille Bert Camille Bert ... Docteur Desmoulins
Marc Valbel Marc Valbel ... Rodrigo


Two ghosts attend an engagement party, unseen by the other guests. One ghost, Dupont, is the father of the bride-to-be. He looks back on his marriage to her mother. His wife Annette was always very unhappy; business kept him away from home. The doctor recommended indulging her whims for furs and jewels. Then Uncle Émile suggested a trip to Paris. All went well until the day they went to the circus and saw the lion-tamer, Rodrigo the Conqueror. Rodrigo becomes Annette's lover ... and the second ghost... But wait a second. There's a third ghost at the party! Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What Happens When 3 Smart Ghosts Take a Holiday?


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »


Il était un Petit Navire
Traditional French Children's Song
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User Reviews

An engagement celebration with uninvited guests from the other side
31 October 2020 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is one of Max Ophuls' most ingenious works, bristling with good humour and wit, in a plot that knots itself up in a kaleidoscope of innovations, and yet it all holds together, in what must be one of the most marvellous comedies ever realized on film. A great party is set off to celebrate the engagement of a well-to-do girl with a rich and well situated man, and her mother is the chief of the occasion. Without being invited, two ghosts feel they can't miss this occasion, and it's her father and her mother's previous lover. Both are dead of course, but they take part in the celebration nonetheless and enjoy both champagne and brandy. Two butlers almost become aware of their existence, as they are confused by doors opening by themselves and the sound of a champagne bottle being uncorked obviously by itself. It appears that both these ghost men were not happy about the woman they loved, hilarious marriage scenes being exposed and the dilemma of the lover, an artist at the circus dealing with tigers, which doesn't end too well. As they discuss their frustrations with that woman, a third man appears denouncing them for their abuse of such a glorious woman, and it appears he knew her before either of them. An airplane also plays some important part in all this, as it is driven by the daughter's secret lover, the unhappy daughter who doesn't want to marry that rich old man at all. The three ghosts decide to do something about it, and then at last they manage to get some contact with the mother, the woman they all three loved, and she settles the matter - or at least makes an important move that proves decisive.

This film is a wonder of cinematic invention and also human psychology, they are all presented with great typically Ophulesque ironic but warm humour, and there are lots of very hilarious scenes and details. The music is perfectly adapted to all this, constantly changing, both in tunes and in rhythm, and you will recognize many of the great melodies of the 30s. In brief, this is yet another of Max Ophuls' many masterpieces, - and in some respects the most brilliant of them all.

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Release Date:

30 May 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tender Enemy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eden Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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