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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) »


The Entertainment Bombshell... 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 »


Zazu Clairon: I've got work to do. Don't be too good!
Claire Ancelot: At least *she* understands!
Bernard Dalban: It's those without children who understand them.
See more »


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


Written by Vincent Scotto
Sung (and later danced) by Josephine Baker
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User Reviews

A Time Out of Mind
6 March 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

This movie may have been released in 1945 after the Liberation, but it clearly was shot in 1940, during the "False War", since it it an ensemble comedy set around people in Paris' air raid shelters.

Micheline Presle and Georges Marchal are desperately in love, but his father, Saturnin Fabre, has written a history of Napoleon in which he claims that her mother, Gabrielle Dorziat is not a descendant of that man. Lawsuits fly, and Fabre offers Josephine Baker a discount on her rent if she will have one of her chorus girls distract his son. However, she is all for young love, so for the moment, she's happy to play Friar Lawrence with some musical interludes. Other comics of the era add in marital discord, war profiteering and how tramps adjust to there being jobs for everyone.

It's an amusing French comedy of the cynical variety, but by the post-war era, no one was very interested in it, except possibly for seeing Miss Baker. It got an American release in 1952 in the period when all the sophisticates wanted to see foreign films, then fell back into relative obscurity; four musical numbers and a view of the war that ran contrary to the mythic image chafed. Still, for the trifle that it is, it's a very pleasant one.

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