Monday, August 28, 2017

Education de prince

1938, France, directed by Alexandre Esway

I've no prior familiarity with the work of Alexandre Esway, though he worked with many of the greats of French cinema -- including, here, Henri-Georges Clouzot as a writer, though there's little sign of Clouzot's later directorial preoccupations. The film was mostly of interest as one of the last lingering entries in Louis Jouvet's filmography. It's a slice of Ruritania very much of its period, and by the standards of his pre-war work, Jouvet has a larger role than was the norm, playing a kind of fixer avant la lettre, charged here with the eponymous education of a prince who is to take over the throne in his invented homeland. The film probably deserves to be slightly less obscure, for Jouvet is very enjoyable -- the role is hardly a stretch, but it's well-suited to his persona, and there are several nicely-turned lines to savour. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States