A young woman who has been abused and taken advantage of by all the men in her life, finally finds a man she believes truly loves her, but she snaps when she finds out that he, too, is ... See full summary »
A young woman is forced by circumstance into a loveless marriage while still in love with another. This episodic tale follows their story through three decades of bitter conflict which engulfs their children and those around them.
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 <email@example.com>
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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