Production and distribution (5)
The Count de Courvallon (played by Chevalier) tries to make a man of his son. His son, the youngest member of the French Academy ("poor boy", murmurs his father) is a young entomologist whose chief goal in life is the capture of Rameses, the rare pink caterpillar. The theme of most of the jokes is a statement made by the Count to his son : "Girls are so much more interesting than boys."
The girls referred to, the "seven little sins," are seven actresses who, stranded in a small town, try to get railroad fare home by posing as the Count's illegitimate daughters. Most appealing of these seven is Luisella (Delia Scala), whose angelic face and noble motives are intended to fool no one. Traveling actresses in France know their way around.
Maurice Chevalier can still romp through the part of the French lover. His hair is getting thin, and he doesn't show too well in closeups, but these are minor objections. His enthusiasm for this familiar role seems undiminished, his girls are as beautiful as ever, and My Seven Little Sins has the great virtue of not taking itself too seriously.
The situation of the Count--trying to make love to these girls, and being stopped by the paternal instinct, is at first quite amusing, but wears thin as more and more daughters turn up.
This restraint seems quite uncharacteristic on the part of the Count, who at the beginning of the picture encourages his mistress to meet him at a certain rendezvous with the argument that it was once the hangout of the Marquis de Sade.
Boston is not the city in which to see a racy film in its original form. The subtitles seem mildly watered down, sporting such translations as "shady ladies" and "To Hades with you." The most flagrant breach of the Production Code is a Bikini revealing the navel.
The picture does have its moments. Paolo Stoppa is excellent as the Count's harried servant; Chevalier can still put a peculiar lilt into a French song; and despite a washed-out process called Ferraniacolor, the Riveria remains the Riviera.
Jean Boyer's direction is a bit frenetic, and it is easy--albeit not too disturbing--to lose track of the girls' identity in the general shuffle. An engaging film with few pretensions, My Seven Little Sins will probably amuse a person who thinks the title a clever play on words.
Source : The crimson.com