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An Italian Straw Hat

An Italian Straw Hat

A Feature film by René Clair

Produced by Les Films Albatros

Release in France : 13/01/1928

    Synopsis

    On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard's horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Fadinard has to find the very same rare hat to avoid her dishonor. This will greatly disturb his own marriage.

    Source : IMDb

    Actors (19)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producer :

    Les Films Albatros

    French distribution :

    Armor Films

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Gaumont

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    Subject

    When René Clair was first offered the job of adapting the farce of Labiche and Michel for the cinema by Alexandre Kamenka, of the Albatros film company, he was unenthusiastic, but he nevertheless demonstrated a sure touch for a fast-moving satirical portrayal of bourgeois style and manners. He updated the original play from 1851 to the setting of the Belle Époque, and an opening title dates it specifically to 1895, the year of the birth of the cinema. In addition to the period settings designed by Lazare Meerson, the story is filmed in a style which recalls the techniques of the earliest cinema films.[1] Most shots use a fixed camera which does not move with the action; characters walk in and out of shot from the sides. Set-ups are usually in long shot, with the characters backlit to provide contrast with the background; much of the action is built up by details within the shot. Close-ups are comparatively rare. (Only in occasional sequences do we see tracking shots, to follow a moving carriage, or rapid cutting, for instance to suggest Fadinard's growing panic in a dance scene.)

    The verbal dexterity of the original text is replaced with inventive visual comedy. Each supporting role is characterised by a comic detail which becomes a running joke: the deaf uncle with a blocked-up ear-trumpet; the cousin who has lost one white glove; the bride's father whose dress shoes are a size too small; the bride who feels a pin that has dropped down the back of her dress; the cousin whose tie keeps dropping, and his wife whose pince-nez will not stay on her nose. The visual narrative is made largely self-sufficient, and there are comparatively few intertitles throughout the film.

    On its first release, the film was not particularly successful with the French public, and its initial run in Paris lasted for only three weeks. It was however very positively received by the critics, and it proved to be one of the most durable of French silent films. By transposing the action to the 1890s when the play had found particular success with audiences, the film was seen as a satire of the play itself and of the kind of audience that would have enjoyed it.

    "With this first big success (artistic more than commercial), René Clair, at the age of 30, achieved his maturity, and established, through his meeting with Labiche, his themes and a style."

    Source : Wikipedia

    Full credits (7)

    Assistant Director :

    Georges Lacombe

    Authors of original work :

    Eugène Labiche, Marc Michel

    Screenwriter :

    René Clair

    Production Designer :

    Lazare Meerson

    Adapter/dialogue writer :

    René Clair

    Producer :

    Alexandre Kamenka

    Directors of Photography :

    Maurice Desfassiaux, Nicolas Roudakoff

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Production language :

    French

    Production country :

    France

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Production year :

    1927

    French release :

    13/01/1928

    Runtime :

    1 h 55 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Approval :

    Unknown

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Black & White

    Aspect ratio :

    1.33

    Audio format :

    Silent