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Circonstances atténuantes (1939)

A retired criminal-court judge on vacation finds himself stranded in a nest of thieves, who show him a friendlier side of crime.


Jean Boyer


Marcel Arnac (novel), Jean Boyer (scenario) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Simon ... M. Gaetan Le Sentencier, 'La Sentence'
Suzanne Dantès Suzanne Dantès ... Mme Nathalie Le Sentencier
Dorville Dorville ... Jules Le Bouic
Arletty ... Marie Qu'a-d'ça
François Simon François Simon ... La poupée (as Michel François)
Andrex ... Môme de Dieu (Kid of God)
Robert Arnoux Robert Arnoux ... Gabriel, the chauffeur
Jeanine Roger Jeanine Roger ... Gabriel's Girlfriend
Robert Ozanne Robert Ozanne ... Cinq de Canne
Georges Lannes ... Coup de Châsse (King of the Chase)
Liliane Lesaffre Liliane Lesaffre ... Lontine Le Bouic
Mila Parély Mila Parély ... La Panthère
Émile Saint-Ober Émile Saint-Ober ... Coco
Henri de Livry Henri de Livry ... (as De Livry)
Robert Sidonac Robert Sidonac


Harsh Parisian judge Gaetan (known as Monsieur Maximum), chafing in the idleness of retirement, leaves for a seaside holiday. But Gabriel the chauffeur has his mind on his girl, not the car; Gaetan and wife Nathalie are stranded in the country, where they find shelter in a low class bistro patronized by cheerful jail birds. Once the ice is broken, they have a wonderful time, but as the judge tries to trick his new friends into reforming, inevitable exposure approaches... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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based on novel | See All (1) »




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Did You Know?


Shooting took only 15 days See more »


Comme de Bien Entendu
Music by Georges Van Parys
Lyrics by Jean Boyer
Performed by Andrex, Arletty, Dorville and Michel Simon
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User Reviews

Lots of fun with Michel Simon and Arletty!
7 November 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

THis is as far-fetched as can be,the story is so unbelievable that you cannot search any realism in this little -and a bit crazy- comedy. A judge M.Le Sentencier(sic)-it almost means "sentencious"-,played by Simon,and his authoritian missus arrive in an inn where you take your life in your hands when you enter.Actually,it's a den of weirdoes and hoodlums .Among them,a cheeky Marie-qu'a-d'çà (=smart Mary)played by Arletty.The judge wants the gang's redemption and the ways he will use are not very orthodox.A risqué move for 1939:a gay character (but who ends up married in the end!).A song that was to become famous:"comme de bien entendu"(=as expected)Outside the movie,this ditty became immortal for another-less funny - reason.When the soldiers went to war a few months later,they sang it ironically.

Michel Simon and Arletty were wonderful comedians and if you like this one,I would also recommend "fric frac'(=break in)which they made the same year.

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Release Date:

23 September 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Extenuating Circumstances 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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