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How to Keep the Red Lamp Burning (1965)

Un grand seigneur: Les bons vivants (original title)
It is with a heavy heart that Monsieur Charles has to close his Parisian brothel in 1946, following new legislation outlawing such establishments. As a parting gift, he offers the brothel's... See full summary »

Writers:

Michel Audiard (dialogue), Albert Simonin (scenarios "La fermeture" and "Le procès") | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis de Funès ... Léon Haudepin (segment "Les bons vivants")
Bernard Blier ... Charles Labergerie (segments "La fermeture" and "Le procès"
Mireille Darc ... Marie Cruchet dite "Eloise" (segment "Les bons vivants")
Andréa Parisy ... Lucette, Baronne Seychelles du Hautpas (segment "Procès, Le")
Jean Lefebvre ... Léonard Maburon (segment "Procès, Le")
Bernadette Lafont ... Sophie (segment "Bons vivants, Les")
Frank Villard ... Marcel Froment (segments "Fermeture, La" and "Procès, Le") (as Frank Villar)
Pierre Bertin Pierre Bertin ... Le président du tribunal (segment "Procès, Le")
Darry Cowl ... L'avocat de la défense (Léonard) (segment "Le procès")
Jean Carmet ... Paulo (Le voleur de la lanterne) (segment "Procès, Le")
Gianna Serra Gianna Serra ... Une fille (segment "Les bons vivants")
Henri Virlojeux Henri Virlojeux ... Le médecin (segment "Fermeture, La") (as Virlojeux)
Dominique Davray ... Mme Blanche (segment "Fermeture, La")
Albert Rémy ... Inspecteur Graunu (segment "Les bons vivants")
Hubert Deschamps ... Le juge Hardouin (segment "Les bons vivants")
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Storyline

It is with a heavy heart that Monsieur Charles has to close his Parisian brothel in 1946, following new legislation outlawing such establishments. As a parting gift, he offers the brothel's red lantern to one of his star employees, Lucette. Written by morroviolet

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

There are two different cuts of this movie, with alternate soundtrack and credits, and a different narrator for the voice over. One version was released on VHS in France in 1991 and runs 102'. The second version runs 100' and was released on DVD in 2003 and is narrated by Philippe Castelli, who also plays the character named Boudu in the third sketch of the movie. See more »

User Reviews

Madam switches off the red light.
23 December 2018 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Dismissed as rubbish by most of the French critics ,"Les Bons Vivants " is nonetheless a very funny comedy ,with lots of good lines by Audiard : it's entertaining , it's not head cinema, but why deny yourself a good laugh?

This is a movie made of three sketches ,the mcguffin of which is a lantern . 1°)the closure :lines warn us before it all begins :they put people out of business: it may be a factory ,a farm ...unemployment is looming It actually concerns a brothel ;the Marthe Richard law from 1946 closed all those places. The boss (Bernard Blier) and his ladies are lambasted ;some try to move into a new type of employment: nightclub hostesses, music hall ;some study the Assimil method (English without tears) to emigrate ;some will have to be streetwalkers . All are on the verge of tears .Don't ask for Maupassant's "La Maison Tellier" ! It's much fun though.The lantern (the red light) is given to the most deserving boarder.

2) The trial : thanks to men (and to dogs) ,this deserving lady(Andrea Parisy) climbs the social scale quickly and becomes a baroness , soon to be widowed ,for her husband could be her grandpa. Her desirable mansion is burglarized ; the thief (Jean Lefèvre) is arrested ,but it's impossible to find one of the stolen goods : the lantern .It works pretty well as a travesty of a trial ,but the ending is botched .

3)The Bons Vivants :how an athletic club turns into a private brothel ; one of the members (Louis De Funès)takes in a would be mistreated hooker (Mireille Darc) ;she becomes his servant ,soon to be joined by other ones (including Bernadette Laffont) Best moments: A clueless De Funès,reading his interminable speech ,while his partners have only eyes for the servants ; and a very special Christmas .

Everyone hams it up in this story which must not be taken seriously ;just for fun!


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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

28 October 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Keep the Red Lamp Burning See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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