This is the first talkie by Lherbier and it has not aged well.Just coming out of the silent era,the cinema was still "filmed stage production " style.
A woman (I will not mention the name of the actress) has an illegal son;she used to be a music hall artist (les Folies Bergères) and she has had a lover (a politician) for many years.Now the child has become a young man and the politician's career is buoyant:he is to become a secretary (minister).This nasty man is sick and tired of his lover's friends (there is some excuse:they are unbearable;among them ,Michel Simon in a cameo).The lady's son ,who is a journalist decides to blackmail the reluctant father-in-law.
When you remember what the Americans did at the time (the sensational "only yesterday' by Stahl,for instance) ,the French attempt is dismal.Performances are laughable ,worthy of a middle-brow show,script is inept:for instance,the hero grows up overnight from a poor brat his mother leaves home to a young dashing reporter.The scene when the mother tells her boy she was ditched -and with a six-figure check at that ,like a hooker!- is unintentionally funny as the actress complains "I'm suffering! I'm so suffering!How could he do this to me?" Stupid ending,which all melodrama lovers will dislike (and I'm part of them).
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