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The Lame Devil (1948)

Le diable boiteux (original title)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sacha Guitry ... Talleyrand
Lana Marconi Lana Marconi ... Mme Grand
Émile Drain Émile Drain ... Napoléon 1er
Henry Laverne Henry Laverne ... Louis XVIII (as Henry-Laverne)
Maurice Teynac Maurice Teynac ... Charles X
Philippe Richard Philippe Richard ... Louis Philippe (as Philippe-Richard)
Georges Spanelly Georges Spanelly ... Le comte de Montrond
Renée Devillers Renée Devillers ... La duchesse de Dino
Georges Grey ... Caulaincourt
Jeanne Fusier-Gir Jeanne Fusier-Gir ... Marie-Thérèse Champignon
José Noguéro José Noguéro ... Le duc de San Carlos
Maurice Escande ... Randall
Jean Debucourt ... Le baron de Humboldt
Pierre Bertin Pierre Bertin ... Le baron de Nesselrode
Roger Gaillard Roger Gaillard ... Lord Castelreagh (as Roger Gaillard de la Comédie Française)
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User Reviews

Far from being 'lame'.
3 November 2019 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

Sacha Guitry was cleared of allegations of collaboration in 1947. He returned to the stage with his play about the diplomat Talleyrand and committed it to celluloid the following year. He is absolutely magnificent in the role and bears an uncanny resemblance to the portrait of Talleyrand by Ary Scheffer. By far the strongest scenes are those where Talleyrand exhibits his formidable negotiating skills in Vienna and London. His scenes with his mistress Catherine Grand, played by the fascinating Lana Marconi are also effective . The chemistry between these two actors is palpable not least because she was to become, at the age of twenty-eight, his fifth wife. Guitry, by the way, was a mere sixty-two. Diable chanceax! He is supposed to have remarked to her'others were only my wives but you will be my widow'. In this he turned out to be remarkably prescient! There is a rather bizarre interlude involving a Spanish dancer and an extremely hammy scene from the 'Barber of Seville' which the film could have done without. The casting of Emile Drain as Napoleon is unfortunate as he is an actor utterly devoid of talent or charisma. Guitry favourite Pauline Carton supplies the comedy relief as a clairvoyant. On the whole this is a very well constructed biopic with excellent production values and a central performance by a consummate artiste. He was by the way, to play this fascinating character again in his rather overblown extravaganza 'Napoleon'. On this occasion the Emperor is played by two actors neither of whom is Emile Drain I am pleased to say!

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Release Date:

29 September 1948 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A sánta ördög See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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