Also known in English as "Champagne for Savages". Set in World War Two occupied France. Several people gather at a house to celebrate a woman's birthday. Some German soldiers are killed ...
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Also known in English as "Champagne for Savages". Set in World War Two occupied France. Several people gather at a house to celebrate a woman's birthday. Some German soldiers are killed outside. The Gestapo inform the group that they must select two of their party to be executed for the crime. It then becomes a matter of everyone trying to save themselves.Written by
The major problem with LE REPAS DES FAUVES is the constant hesitation between comedy and drama. Much of the witty dialog is relevant to boulevard theater, while the script deals with very serious matters. I didn't feel the people gathered in this comfortable dining room were really afraid to die. Most of them remain superficial and unconvincing, like the German soldiers who are supposed to threaten them. Their commandant officer speaks with such a ridiculous French accent that you can only smile. Same for the complaisant Francis Blanche talking to him in German.
Christian-Jaque was no longer a great director at the end of his career and he proves it once more with this wasted effort. I am not sure Billy Wilder could have done a better remake here. However, Bunuel or Hitchcock would have certainly delivered a masterpiece with the same subject, because they really knew how to maintain a good balance between suspense, black humor and absurd tragedy.
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