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The French Way (1945)

Fausse alerte (original title)
Cabaret star Zazu intervenes when young lovers are sundered by their parents' feud.


Michel Duran


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Cast overview:
Josephine Baker ... Zazu Clairon
Micheline Presle ... Claire Ancelot (as Micheline Prelle)
Georges Marchal ... Bernard Dalban
Raymond Aimos Raymond Aimos ... Honoré Petru (as Aimos)
Jean Tissier Jean Tissier ... Grégoire
Gabrielle Dorziat ... Madame Ancelot
Saturnin Fabre ... Monsieur Dalban
Marguerite Pierry Marguerite Pierry ... Mademoiselle Espérajou
Lucien Baroux ... Léon
Yves Deniaud Yves Deniaud ... Le journaliste
Palmyre Levasseur Palmyre Levasseur ... La patronne du bistrot


World War II has begun, but Parisian neighbors Dalban (biographer of Napoleon) and Mme. Ancelot still feud over his claim that her great- great-grandmother did *not* sleep with the Emperor! Their underage children Claire and Bernard are in love, but cannot marry over their parents' opposition. Dalban enlists beautiful cabaret star Zazu to divert Bernard's attention with a showgirl. But Zazu has her own ideas about young love...and strange things happen in air-raid shelters! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

paris france | world war two | See All (2) »


HEAR Josephine Sing "Naughty Nina" And Other Hits See more »


Comedy | Romance






French | English

Release Date:

5 September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The French Way See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Flag Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (2017 restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was shot in 1940 but its released delayed because of the war. It was eventually released in June 1945. See more »


Léon: Now for a flop at the Salvation Army! 20 francs... wow!
Zazu Clairon: How about my maid's room?
Léon: Ah! Is she pretty?
Zazu Clairon: She's not there... she left.
Léon: Too bad! But, I snore, y'know.
See more »


Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 6 (1999) See more »


Written by Wal-Berg
Sung and danced with chorus by Josephine Baker
See more »

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User Reviews

Watch it for Josephine Baker
8 March 2018 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

This film from 1945 France is a little bit of fluff. The quality level of the production is modest at best, the tone feels too light during air-raid alarms (even for a romantic comedy), and the acting feels stagey. However, it has its moments, and it entertained me. The story of the young Romeo and Juliet couple (Georges Marchal and Micheline Presle) is pretty standard, but the growing attraction between their feuding parents (Saturnin Fabre and Gabrielle Dorziat) is very cute. The battle for dominance in the marriage of two café owners was also amusing.

Most of all, though, I loved seeing Josephine Baker, who is a delight. How fantastic it is to see her in this role, without the least hint of a stereotype. Her musical numbers don't have a wow factor, and her dance routines are toned down, but the joy on her face and her charisma really come through. The movie was filmed in 1940 and not released for five years because of the war, meaning she was 34 and had been in Paris for 15 years. You see the wisdom in her moving to France, because, as she put it, "One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black." It's an average film, but I gave it a little bonus, because to see her is special.

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