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Lovers and Thieves

Lovers and Thieves

A Feature film by Sacha Guitry

Produced by Gaumont, Courts et Longs Métrages (CLM)

Release in France : 08/02/1957

    Synopsis

    Surprised by a burglar (Michel Serrault), the doleful Philippe (Jean Poiret) regains his composure, then asks the thief for his assistance. It seems that Philippe wants to commit suicide but hasn't the nerve to pull off the deed himself. In flashback, Philippe recounts the events that led up to this critical and anxious moment. As it turns out, our "hero" is a bigger criminal, both actual and moral, than the nonplused burglar could ever be.

    Source : allmovie.com

    Actors (27)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producers :

    Gaumont, Courts et Longs Métrages (CLM)

    French distribution :

    Gaumont

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Editions René Château

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    About

    Review

    The late Sacha Guitry's frivolous and acid view of the human comedy was set forth to the point of fulfillment during his more than half a century as a dramatist, actor and film-maker, and so it is something in the way of an anti-climax or reprise that his "Lovers and Thieves" should have arrived yesterday at the Guild Theatre.

    It is, we are told, the French artist's last film before his death last July, and, like many of the other vehicles for his personal brand of wit, this one tears away with a laugh the mask of convention to show the true face of human perfidy and deceit.

    As was often the case with M. Guitry's one-man shows, "Lovers and Thieves," known in France as "Assassins et Voleurs," has both its bright moments and its thin stretches, when the scene is thrown away to make room for unrelated and often dull asides by the renowned wit.

    The dramatic framework ever so loosely encloses a philanderer, played by Jean Poiret, who is caught in the bedroom of another man's wife, enacted by Magali Noel. By one of those droll coincidences favored in Continental humor, there just happens to be a burgler in the next room. So when the husband in a rage strangles the unfaithful wife, and the philanderer shoots the husband, the burglar is stuck with the double murder.

    So you see it is a very zany business, as the burglar, played by Michel Serrault, is sent to jail, and the philanderer takes up the burglar's life of crime in the way of atonement. It makes sense only within the arbitrary dictates of M. Guitry's fantastic dramaturgy. There is a crazy surprise at the end, when the burglar finally learns the identity of the man who framed him many years before for the double killing.

    The over-all effect is altogether too vacant, except for the memory of several delightful episodes that represent M. Guitry at his very best. One of these comes when the philanderer is sent to an insane asylum as a resuit of the shock of his killing the husband. There is an absolutely delicious scene between the head of the hospital and the philanderer as they discuss the antics of the various inmates sitting around the dinner table.

    There is another perfect bit provided by Darry Cowl during the trial of the burglar. He regales the court with double-talk, much to the confusion of the court, until it is learned that he has been summoned as a witness for the wrong trial.

    Though the performances are invariably fine and M. Guitry's direction and iting show fitful signs of inspiration, the film lacks both dramatic structure and a significant theme around which to organize the discursive episodes. Above and beyond the film itself lies the interesting consideration that M. Guitry, judging by this, the last evidence, maintained his Voltairian skepticism to the end.

    © Richard W. Nason, "The New York Times", Aug. 5, 1958

    Source : movies.nytimes.com

    Full credits (18)

    Assistant Director :

    Jean-Claude Desvernet

    Dialogue Writer :

    Sacha Guitry

    Line Producer :

    Clément Duhour

    Director of Photography :

    Paul Cotteret

    Sound Assistant :

    René Bourdier

    Camera operators :

    Roger Duculot, Jacques Ripouroux

    Editor :

    Paulette Robert

    Production Designer :

    Jean Douarinou

    Still Photographer :

    Marcel Combes

    Adapter/dialogue writer :

    Sacha Guitry

    Producer :

    Alain Poiré

    Screenwriter :

    Sacha Guitry

    Sound Recordist :

    Jean Bertrand

    Assistant Operators :

    Roger Bontemps, Claude Lecomte

    Production Manager :

    Gilbert Bokanowski

    Assistant editor :

    Colette Leloup

    Music Composer :

    Jean Françaix

    Location Manager :

    André Chabrol

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Sub-genre :

    Drama

    Production language :

    French

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Nationality :

    100% French

    Production year :

    1956

    French release :

    08/02/1957

    Runtime :

    1 h 25 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Visa number :

    18540

    Visa issue date :

    26/09/1956

    Approval :

    Unknown

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Black & White

    Audio format :

    Mono