Silence Is Golden

1947 [FRENCH]

Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

Plot summary

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Top cast

Maurice Chevalier Photo
Maurice Chevalier as Emile Clément
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
914.43 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...
1.66 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ulicknormanowen9 / 10

Exclusive domain.

René Clair had just come back from the USA,so this movie is the follow-up to "and then there were none" ,based on Agatha Christie's play (and not novel) .Clair was in his element again , I was never convinced by his take on whodunit.

It was the time the director came to term with his past , that is to say the silent age when, like Renoir and Duvivier ,he was already working;so he knew what he was taking about and his movie is one of the best dealing with la Belle Epoque ,at the time of the Cinematographe , when the movies were made in cheapstake settings but fascinated the ladies (who liked happy endings best ) who were picked up par les messieurs .

Clair's work is full of nostalgia ,the silent age -check the title:(= silence is golden-) was the time when he was himself in his twenties .Gone is the youth; Maurice Chevalier ,10 years his senior ,plays the part of his alter ego ;many consider his part of an old beau his best role .He still thinks he's an irresistible womanizer pretending he's his best friend's daughter's guardian and protecting her from man's lust ,but ,though she may be his daughter, , she's exclusive preserve. He's a director ,par excellence ,the job that makes the girls drool .

But he also claims to give a young actor (François Périer) lessons in seduction ; hearing the old buck talk to women is just a joy; and hearing the pupil using the same sentences ,the same quotations (from poet Ronsard ) is a trick worthy of peer Sacha Guitry .

But this education might backfire on the "teacher" ;this culminate in "oriental passion " , a film the director is shooting ,in which pretending is no longer the rule .Anyway the old beau was actually cynical and hypocrit .

The ending ,with the coming of the sultan ,is hilarious and perhaps inspired by Molière 's "le bourgeois gentilhomme" : is the lady for sale? And Clair laughs at the decoration ,and perhaps at all the decorations,including la légion d'honneur , which loses its value when it's awarded to the first to come;poets, like him,don't need it.

The female lead,Marcelle Derrien ,was only a shooting star,whereas Dany Robin,who 's just got a small supporting role, would work with Decoin,Duvivier, Litvak ,Audry, ,Guitry and would end her career with Hitchcock ("topaz").

Reviewed by boblipton8 / 10

Middle Aged Nostalgia and Lost Love

Rene Clair finished out the war in the United States and returned to France, but it was a France changed from the one he had become a film director in. His youthful surrealistic works, the early sound films where he reinvented Paris, all were gone. So he had no choice but to recreate the Paris he loved in this film about a love triangle, with Maurice Chevalier unwittingly planning his own cuckolding like a silent film his character is directing.

While it might seem to some that Clair should have used as its background the Paris of SOUS LES TOITS DE Paris and LE MILLION, what better way to show your love than through a realistic camera, using techniques that suggested reality through realistic detail? Besides, wasn't his audience anxious to forget the horrors of the War and see a show about a time when the only problem was losing the girl you loved?

Clair has left in some of the surrealism. When the characters are happy, there is singing all around. People whistle. Crowds gather in the street to harmonize. And the star is Maurice Chevalier in a straight role. This is not the sort of movie you'd expect to see with Clair's name attached to it, but it is as heartfelt and as loving of Paris in his youth, as he remembered and wished to tell of it.

Alas, the New Wave never forgave him, even when they grew up and started to use these techniques themselves. Like all young people, like Clair himself when young, they loved the flash for its own sake; it didn't matter what the fireworks celebrated, so long as the roman candles went off.

Reviewed by cstotlar-18 / 10

Paris Revisited With Affection

I haven't seen this film in the U.S. so I can't say how well it translated or made it to the screen here. Clair is clearly not nouvelle vague of late 50's of early 60's but he was a firebrand in his own surrealistic time. Someone called this film a valentine and I agree whole-heartedly. It's perhaps not so surprising to notice the French treatment of Maurice Chevalier as opposed to the American one. Still the portrait treats him with affection - by-gone affection - with a slightly tarnished surface that the French understood in a trice. The recreation of the Paris of the time was loving if not realistic, but who is looking for realism in a confection of this order? Clair did what he's done in the past with a slight update and I find nothing whatsoever to complain about. The parts come together with the perfection I expect from the auteur and the journey is extremely nice. Addendum - I bought a copy of the DVD of this film that was in terrible shape. It deserves much better than that. Update - I looked at "Man About Town" once more and it still fails on just about every perspective. The French version as I mentioned above is kind to Chevalier but not adoring in any way. In the Americanized version he's actually commenting on his own misbehavior with an "ooo la la" attitude strong enough to curdle milk. Curtis Stotlar

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