Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
France, 1931. Films Sonores Tobis. Screenplay by Rene Clair. Cinematography by Georges Perinal. Produced by Frank Clifford. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Lazare Meerson. Costume Design by Rene Hubert. Film Editing by Rene Le Henaff.
Witty satire that isn’t overly that has its moments. Two convicts escape prison and one of them sets himself up as a salesman in a phonograph company. Eventually working his way up to being the owner of the operation, the man’s life is given a new slant when he is threatened with blackmail by a man who knows about his past. He decides to hit the road with his old buddy, realizing that the true freedom was not in his restrained bourgeois life but in the lawless one he used to have. Some catchy set pieces are the most you’ll get out of this Rene Clair film, but it’s far from his best.
The Criterion Collection: #160
Academy Award Nomination: Best Art Direction