Not least of the selling points for this movie is the chance to see Charles Boyer back on his own turf after making a fortune and a reputation in Hollywood. Perhaps best known for his refusal to 'speak' to a cockroach in Mitchell Liesen's 'Hold Back The Dawn', following which screenwriters Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett truncated his part and 'threw' the movie to Olivia de Havilland, Boyer was nevertheless a sensitive man, as well he might be with a philosophical degree from the Sorbonne who, rather than go on living without his wife, committed suicide two days after her death. With 20-20 hindsight it's tempting to look for parallels here - Stavisky was made four years prior to Boyer's suicide and he made only a further two on-screen appearances - in respect of Stavisky topping himself in the 12th reel but speculation aside Boyer does score heavily as what might be described as a thoroughbred who's been nobbled. He cheerfully pisses away his 'old money' in pursuit of the good life but when the chips are down he remains resolutely loyal to the lovable rogue who has lied to him blatantly.
Any film that features Francois Perier can't be all bad and here again he lends gravitas to an essentially lightweight project. All the production values are out of the right bottle and nostalgists will have a field day. The jury's still out on Belmondo but the film itself is well worth seeing. 6/10