La fête à Henriette (1952) - full transcript

After the rejection of their latest - and preposterous - scenario, two script writers get back to basics to prepare a new movie. The new scenario centers on Henriette, a pretty, lively Parisian, and how she spends the 14th of July in Paris with her fiancé. We follow the tribulations of Henriette as various other characters make their entry in the story and turn a traditional festive day into something more adventurous than expected.

This film was restored by PATHÉ in 2016

A 4K digitization and restoration
based on first generation materials

printed from original negatives:

a dupe positive (Pathé)
and a release print (UCLA)

which remain
the best elements available.

We have not been able to find
the original negatives.

* * * * Productions presents

A film by ?????

Screenplay by ?????

Stop the music!

You can't play music
that hasn't been composed.

The script
hasn't been written either.

In other words,
the film hasn't been shot.

Everything remains to be done!

Screenplay, dialogue, direction,
sets, music, casting.

You won't see the film
before next year.

And why not?

Simply because...

The censorship board
turned down our script unanimously.

The production just phoned.

3 months work down the drain.

This is outrageous.

Those folks care little for gray matter!

So much for freedom of expression.

We're only free to fight
for the liberation of liberty.

What times! What ethics!

So we're not leaving.

Actually, I never seriously believed
our script would pass.

It's not a good story?

It is, but it raised problems.

The character of the cynical,
loud-mouthed prostitute,

who performs miracles on the sidewalk,
isn't that terrific?

The scene with the archbishop and
the little girl must've raised eyebrows.

The outburst of the general,
a conscientious objector,

must have scandalized them.

- Why did you write it then?
- To let off steam.

Kill the pigs!

I'm letting off steam too.

Then they cut my line
that was so amazing

coming from an archbishop.
I'll use it again.

Kill the pigs!

No skin off a pig's back.

What do we do now?

Another script!

About what? If I only knew!

No characters, no setting, no subject.

I'm out of ideas.
What can we deliver?

I'm utterly demoralized.

We've been working so well,

in intellectual harmony.
- Intellectual? Let's not exaggerate.

Don't we see eye to eye?

Great minds think alike.

Just say I'm a fool.

- Fool!
- And fools never differ.

Don't start again!

Well said.
So, my friend,

what idea of mine do you have in mind?

There's nothing in the newspaper.

People say:

"Look around you.
There's no lack of subjects."

"Police apprehend unemployed man

"for attempted theft of a bicycle

"after his own is stolen.

"He was arrested with his son,

"a boy of 8."

How thrilling.

"Homeric town hall clash

"between Communist mayor and priest,

"childhood friends
but political enemies:

"Who will carry
the Virgin's statue

"in Assumption procession?

"Reds or churchgoers?

"Mayor and priest come to blows."

So much for likely subjects!

It's lamentable.

Life's us empty as a military mind.

We must invent.

How about a simple love story?

Between two women?

- Between two men?
- Idiot!

- Between who, then?
- A man and a woman!

Yes, maybe.

Two provincials.
We set it in Montluçon.

- That would be new.
- No, in Paris.


The morgue, the catacombs,
Père-Lachaise, the Folies Bergère...

Sure, we can work with that.
And the characters?

Ordinary people.

- Right, mediocre people.
- No, modest folk.

Hold on!
I see atoll young blonde.

But Swedish.

I can see her.

She lives in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
with a Japanese poet, a lettrist.

Or else
a mousy brunette

from the Bastille, who runs

a fingersmith gang,
operating in Paris.

What a subject! Their scams...

The gullibility of men...

I didn't say low-lifes,
I said ordinary people.

So we start with a bang,

and we floor the public in round one
with a film that swings.

The Concorde...

The Hotel Crillon.

No! Place Vendôme,

the Ritz...

A swanky suite,
cosmopolitan atmosphere.

In this luxurious setting,

a strangely beautiful creature,

- And Swedish.
- Silence.

Come in!

Meeting the General?

- Is it true or not?
- It's true.



He's in the elevator. He's coming up.

Pan to the door.

A knock.

What an opening!

Then, what?

We have to figure out what comes next.


A half-naked girl,
a flagellation scene.

Pure pornography!

You confuse pornography
and eroticism, my child.

- No.
- What?

Picture this:
we're on a café terrace,

rue Royale, for instance.

We watch the passers-by.

In the crowd,
we pick out an interesting girl.


What's up?

Excuse me, miss.

I just made a bet with this fellow.

Do you have a profession?

Sure. I'm in fashion.

- You see!
- Rue de la Paix, naturally?

Avenue Matignon at Favavelli's.

Seamstress, obviously?

With legs like that?

No, I'm an assistant fitter.

Our heroine will work in fashion.

A seamstress. And an orphan.

- Orphan?
- Orphans are always a big hit.

We'll have a small hit
without orphans.

As for our hero...

Let's make him a lifeguard
in a municipal pool?

Or a postman?

Him! No.

Fashion... Organdi... Tutu... Waltz!

A ballet dancer!

We'll make him a press photographer.

For a daily!

No, a weekly.

Let's say his name is Robert.

A day in a life in Paris.

But a special day, a holiday.

Saint Catherine's Day.

- Saint Henriette's Day.
- Why not Saint Ernestine?

Because Saint Henriette's
falls on July 14th.

We'll narrate
the romantic Bastille Day

of a young Parisian.

Right! And we'll call the film
Henriette's Holiday.

That's all we need!

You have good ideas sometimes,
despite yourself.

A charming title,
with a whiff of French fries,

gas lamps, merry-go-rounds...

Henriette's Holiday it is!

I'd prefer Kill the Pigs!

As for Henriette, she's a nice girl,

quite a pin-up, good at banter,
a bit sentimental...

Quiet, I've got it.

It's the evening of July 13th.

She leaves her work,

...rue de la Paix.

Here she is.

No, this one.

I prefer this one.

- Where's she going?
- Home. I know her address.

Her father is a Republican Guard.
Note it, Nicole.

He lives with his family
in the Place Monge barrack.

The clock on the church steeple
strikes 6.

Papa, I have it! The dress!

Did Robert call?

- Say hello, first!
- Hello, Mama.

No, Robert didn't call.
Was he supposed to?

We have a date tomorrow,

to celebrate July 14th together.

Could be lovely.

It will be the loveliest day of my life.

- What's that?
- A surprise for Robert.

- A gift?
- In a way.

Oh, my nail!

Let me.

What is it?

Hold on!

I borrowed it from the atelier.

It better not ruin.
I never trust Bastille Day.

You always expect the worst.

- Margaret has the same one.
- Margaret?

The Queen of England's sister.

The Princess!
She's a client of ours.

'Evening, my dears.

- Everything OK?
- Yes.

What a day. I'm dead beat.

And I'm on duty at the Élysée

I'd like to see Bastille Day abolished.

Henriette wouldn't!

She's not a Republican Guard.

- Isn't Robert here?
- Should he be?

I'm meeting him at 6.

- He's taking photos.
- Photos?

Yes, for his magazine.

A piece on Bastille Day preparations.

- He won't come now.
- He must be held up at work.

You always make excuses for him.

Come now, Virginie.

Don't get started on Robert.

He's been hanging around her
for a year.

He should at least tell her
his intentions.

Mothers always want
their daughters married off in no time.

- Bingo!
- He's never mentioned marriage.

He doesn't dare.
He's shy, like all men.

Doesn't stop him kissing her
on the lips

and caressing her.

On the lips?

We don't kiss like that much.

Maybe not, but he takes his time.

I met your dad October 6th,

We married February 6th,
you arrived July 14th.

Robert's in no hurry.

He won't propose,
he probably has another woman.

If he did, he wouldn't save
his July 14th for me.

Don't count on it.

But he promised me.

Tomorrow will be the day.

When he wishes me
a happy name day,

he'll propose.

And I know my answer.

- We'll see.
- I'll fix a date for our wedding.

I'll marry him next year,
on July 14th.

The other woman is me.

- Going out?
- For an evening paper.

What's in it?

Our horoscopes for tomorrow.
I'm Cancer, he's Aries.

I'm Taurus.

- Our local beauty!
- My newspaper?

Going to the ball?

No, I'm having on early night,
to be on form tomorrow.

What's up tomorrow?

It's Saint Henriette's Day.

Good horoscope?

"You will overcome obstacles.
All your wishes will be realized."

There you are!


Let's see what the future holds
for us Aries.

"All your wishes will be realized.
You will overcome obstacles."

They don't bust a gut.

Come on.


You know, I'm a veteran at photos.

I've featured in every newspaper.

Seen those?
There's my entire career.

Me at the Opera
with the President.

Me with the President,
at the Comédie-Française.

Me again, at the Élysée.

Notre-Dame Cathedral,
with President Lebrun.

With Lebrun again,
I don't know where.

The World Fair,
the President is at the back.

The President and I are always together
for occasions like this.

She didn't think you'd come.

- That's not true.
- I was held up at work.

Just us I said.

Here's the next issue,
with my photo on the cover.

What a lovely girl!

Quite a filly.

She's Rita Solar,
of the Medrano Circus.

Going dancing tonight?

No, I'm resting for tomorrow.
Why, are you free tonight?

No, I'm not.

Got a date?

He wouldn't tell you anyway.

Ready? One, two, three!

One more.

- Working tonight?
- Yes, for my piece.

But tomorrow?

Hold it!

What about tomorrow?

One with your boots.

She's afraid you'll be tired.

I'll sleep late.

Lucky guy.

I'm spending the day
with the President.

I'm not complaining,
but it's a big responsibility.

I love July 14th.

It's my birthday and my name day,

It's like all the balls
are held in my honor.

You're not working tomorrow?

Yes, always on July 14th.

What rotten luck.
And I thought...

Ready... One, two, three.


I had a great idea.

Tomorrow I'll photograph
a pretty girl on a spree in Paris.

What do you think?

A pretty girl's day...

Yes. And the pretty girl is you.

Feel better?
He kept you guessing.

You can breathe now.

She was getting worried.

I know her inside out.

As I should.

Here's the program:

2 p.m. tomorrow, Hôtel de Ville,

the Étienne Marcel Brasserie.

I'll take some photos,

then off to the balls.

Bastille, Concorde,
Montparnasse, Gobelins...

- Nation!
- Don't interrupt!

I'll have the press car.
Two swells!

And guess what we'll do at 5 p.m.?

- I don't know.
- We'll go to the Opera.

- The Opera!
- I'll take you backstage,

we'll go up in the flies

for shots of Denise Duval
singing La Marseillaise.

After that, Place du Tertre,

We'll dance till the fireworks.

- And at midnight...
- Midnight?

Calm down.

A champagne supper.

Bastille Day jubilee!

My first champagne supper...

All jubilees start that way!

What do you think?

Don't bring her home after 4 a.m.,

her mother wouldn't like it.

He asked what you think,
so tell him!

Go on! As if I wasn't here.
Kiss him.

- What do you think?
- I adore you.

Save it for tomorrow.
And obey your father.

Then we fade to black.


"to black."

There. July 13th is over.

Nicole, how do you like that opening?

At one minute per page on average,

you have 11 minutes screen time.


We have to introduce our little world.

Little world, little sentiments,
little movie!

Little reasoning of a little idiot.

A truce in frivolity.

Let's set the scene for Bastille Day.

Note it, Nicole.

The sun is out,

shining brightly for the parade,

all the trumpets of Paris
sound the reveille!

First the upholders of law and order.

The monuments don their Sunday best.

These gentlemen again.

Bleachers go up at intersections.

Them again!

Don't forget the props.
Note it, Nicole.

There they are again!

Don't forget the munitions.
Note it, Nicole.

And no skimping on the extras.

With this dazzling cascade of images,
Henriette's great day begins.

Her very own July 14th.

A day of romance in a dancing Paris.

And at 2 p.m. as planned,

Robert, impatient and excited,
meets Henriette

at the Hôtel de Ville.

No. He doesn't meet her.

Did he tell you?

Henriette and Robert's love
must be thwarted.

Otherwise there's no story.

No story, no movie.

I got it!

You're right.

At the last minute,
Robert doesn't show up.

Henriette's hopes crash.

But why doesn't he show up?

He's sent off on an assignment
with no time to warn her.

On the morning of our 14th July,

while the parade marches down

the Champs-Élysées
on the rue Balzac...

A man lies dying,

a great statesman.

In the courtyard, journalists
from the leading dailies,

press agency correspondents
and photographers wait,

hoping the dying man will pass
politely before the aperitif.

Public and private personalities
come for news.

Mr. President, a statement.

No, please. It's not the moment.

A dear friend is departing.
A light is going out.

France loses a great mind,
I lose on old comrade.

God gains an enlightened soul.

That's all I have to say to you.

No, I'm sorry, madame.

Are you done? It's indecent.

Each one of these men
has a private life.

And that's what our story is about.

A jaded journalist who's seen it all.

A young reporter
who gives himself airs.

A TV cameraman

whose wife is having a baby.

We'll show the impact
of this man's death

on Henriette and Robert's idyll.

Robert tries to let Henriette know,

that's all he cares about.

I'm off. Dying on Bastille Day
is in bad taste.

I need the dame's mug shot.

I don't have time.

Hey, do me a favor.

I have a date...

At the Hôtel de Ville,

Henriette is waiting
in her pretty dress,

with her parasol and her illusions.


The messenger falls for Henriette

and betrays his friend Robert.

I've seen that conflict before.

Find something else.

What does Robert do?

Like you said.
He misses their date.

I didn't say that.
What do we know about him?

He loves Henriette.

Right. But who is he?

A press photographer.

So what?

Who has he photographed?


Who? Rita Solar!

True! Rita Solar, the circus rider.

Dear, dearest Rita!

- Where does Robert live?
- Montmartre, of course.

You're so original. Place Boulnois,
Hotel Guyana. Note it, Nicole.

OK. Place Boulnois, Hotel Guyana.

Bastille Day,
all the windows are festooned.

Hung with flags and banners!

You always overdo it.

No one uses flags nowadays.

OK. Lose the flags.

No more flounces and festoons.
Here's the Hotel Guyana.

A picturesque little hotel.

With a family atmosphere.

As it's hot,
the lodgers create breezes.

Let's see. Where's Robert?

Here? No.



Not here either.

Say, Bob, do you speak English?

There's an Englishman in my bed.

- An Englishman?
- Want to see?

What's he doing here?

Touring maybe?

A colonizer. He says
he feels at home in your home.

What a nerve! Tell him.

First, did we make love?

He's no Brit, he's a Yankee.

What else does he want?


He says come back at 12.

No kidding! If he doesn't leave
I'll call the cops.


What are you doing today?

Take me out?

Not today.
I'm seeing Henriette.

Yes, Henriette.
Here she is.

Meet Henriette.

- Is it serious?
- Seriously serious.

This was left for you.

Can you open it and read it to me?

"Thank you, my friend,
for your lovely photos.

"I leave for Holland tomorrow.

"Do come and say goodbye

"in my dressing room
after the matinée?

"Our brief encounter
is such a special memory.

"I don't want to leave France
without saying goodbye.

"Thank you again. Rita Solar."

Who's Rita?

That's her.

Oh boy!

Come up and see my horses.

Are you going?

No, it wouldn't be right.

Go on!

Tying the knot with Henriette?

Cheat on her before, not after.
More proper.

Anyway, if I was a man,
a circus rider...

Henriette won't mind,
she's smiling at you.

She's right too.

It would be a performance,
not love.

"...a performance, not love."

Apart from her scanty costume,

Gisèle is a dead loss.

My poor girl!

Gisèle is the eternal feminine!

Gisèle hides her cards.

Gisèle is guile, cunning, deceit.

Gisèle has fallen for Robert.

She's the Deus Ex Machina,

the snag that blocks their date.

The date with Rita Solar?

No! You don't get it, do you?

The date with Henriette.

It's not like her.

Gisèle seems to be a nice girl.

I know!


Robert doesn't go to the Hôtel de Ville,

he asks Gisèle to apologize
to Henriette for him.

Gisèle doesn't know Henriette.

And the photo?
Dissolve to the photo.

Gisèle looks for Henriette
at the café terrace, in vain.

You'll see.

Henriette is so shy
she doesn't dare sit down.

Just then, a blind man...

- Help me cross the street.
- But...

Help me cross, I say.

The young man you expect won't come.

No, he won't come.

Who told you I expect him?

I know.
And I know you're pretty.

Your dress is ravishing.

You've been feverishly impatient
for an hour.

Yes, I was watching you.

I haven't taken my eyes off you.

Come with me.

Come. I'll lead the way.

I'll tell you some amazing things.

What's that all about?

Intrigued, eh?

What's he doing there?

He's Fate, old chum.

We think fate is blind but it isn't.

Mysterious, secretive fate,

deceiving fate, mischievous fate.



Nicole dear, how do you see
Robert's attitude?

Rita Solar's date at the Medrano

is after the matinée show.

Around 5 p.m.
But until then...

Until then! There.

That's the key word.

Until then...
She understands.

She's a woman.

Until then. That says it all.

I can tell you in all sincerity,

what happens
at the Hôtel de Ville

this July 14th afternoon.

Note it, Nicole.

"And while Henriette waits..."

- This chair is taken.
- Yes, by me. You putting me on?

- Do you mind?
- I was here first.

Says who? Bums first?

Don't give me that!

Right, I'll keep it.

- Your chair?
- I'm expecting someone.


- Waiter.
- Sir.

Two beers.

- What will you have?
- But...

For you?

- The same.
- Waiter. Four beers.

- No! Just one!
- We'll work it out.

4 beers. No heads.
It's too hot.

4 beers for 2. 4!

I'm curious to see
the kind of person

who could keep you waiting.

Things come up.

- You his wife?
- Not yet.

Then he has no excuse, child.

I know about waiting.

My wife spent her life waiting for me.

Yet I'm precise.

I'm always exactly an hour late.

I was an hour late for my wedding.

The ceremony was virtually over.

In 1918, the war had been over
for cm hour

but I was still shooting.

Hostilities nearly resumed.

Thank you, young man.

To your pretty little nose.

What's your name?


Not Robert.
My name is Antoine.

- Been here long?
- I just arrived.

He was keeping me company.

Delighted, Robert.

Sit down.
Your beer is waiting.

I was worried.

We had a flat.

What a pretty dress!

- You like it?
- Stand in front of the table.

Smile. Don't move.
Smile. Again.


Seen my 509?

The girls chipped in for my name day.


Something for now.

Happy name day, Henriette.

And my grandma's parasol from Mama.

A bit rococo, but sweet.

May I kiss her?

I'm harmless. As dated us the parasol,
an old umbrella.

Go ahead.

Happy name day, Henriette.

Hold it.

The Parisian's day
is off to a good start.

Don't mind me.
What are you doing here?

As you can see.
My wife.

Henriette, Robert.
Your beer.

I wondered where you were.

You lost your old umbrella.

Excuse him. It's the some
every July 14th.

July 14th is an historic date for us.

Our first ball.
Remember, sweet Charlotte?

We danced the tango.
And the jitterbug.

I was wearing bell-bottom pants,

and you had a checked dress,

and a parasol too!

I drank white wine and oxygen.

I was fired up.

Charlotte, shall we dance?

This maybe our last July 14th.

This has been my life
for 37 years of marriage.

This is our first July 14th.

And our first dance.


Can't the band take a break?

Why? I'm not tired.

We'll take some photos.

Watch out!



Maestro! Mind if we take
a photo for Vision?

Sure. Good publicity for us.

Right, guys?

I'll ask the young lady
to step up with you.

This is Ingrid Petersen,
the great Swedish star.

Recognize her? Seen her movies?

Give me your hand, miss.

But she doesn't speak French.

Miss Ingrid, come here.

- That's all she knows.
- Your tiny hand.

Just a sec. I'll get my camera.

It's almost 5.
Don't forget what I said.

Ladies and gentlemen,

we are delighted to welcome
the star of the Swedish screen,

Ingrid Petersen,
who is honoring us with her presence.

A big hand
for Ingrid Petersen.

Miss Ingrid, you go tchin tchin
with the boomboom zinzin.

Here we go...

Another one.

Out of the way.
Move back a bit more.

Which movies was she in?

The Saint of Darkness,

It Snows in Winter,
My Heart is Breaking... Lots!

Hold it...

How do I ask for an autograph?

Just say "autograph".
All the stars understand.

Autograph, please.

Me too, miss, please!

Play, or there'll be a riot.

Let's go, boys.
I, 2...

Move along now.

Come on. Be sensible.

May I?

So you don't understand French?

You're a cutie.
I bet you're a piece of work.

I'd like to visit Sweden.

Sorry, I'm taking her back.

I fancy a chat in Swedish.

Buy a dictionary.

It's fabulous. I adore you.

- Come on.
- Where to?

The Opera!

Oh yes! We'll be late.

Where's the driver?

The boss wants you at his place.

- What for?
- Photos.

He's giving a costume ball.
All Paris is going.

- What?
- So we're not going to the Opera?

Well, you see...

- Where does your boss live?
- Neuilly, miles away.

It's not my fault.

So long as we're together!

No, when I'm working
I don't like distractions.

But can't I come too?

Like I said, it's impossible.

Impossible, you hear?

Why that gloomy face?

I remember what Mama said last night.

What did she say?
Something against me?

Hurry up. You'll be late.

I don't have to go.
It's up to you to decide.

No, you want to.

I don't want to lose my job,
that's all.

Anyway, we meet at 7 p.m.,
Place du Tertre, for dinner,

in the little restaurant on the square.

See you.
Don't do anything silly.

You neither.
Hurry, you'll be late.

7 p.m. Place du Tertre!

An autograph, miss.

"And Henriette, her heart aching,

"is on the verge of tears."


What a little louse.

I figured he didn't love her.

But he does love her.

So why ditch her today of all days?

He has his whole life ahead with her.

And only an hour to enjoy with Rita.


He's like all men.

Faithful but fickle.
When an opportunity arises...


Charming attitude!

Who said he'll two-time Henriette
with Rim?

With you it may not be said
but it's done.

- I'm used to you.
- Not so fast.

Let me slip into Henriette's skin.

- I'm her now.
- You worry me.

I am Henriette.

Robert dumped me here.

Poor little girl
lost in the crowd.

That's our theme, idiot!

But I can't stay here all alone,

something must happen.

Focus on me,
write me an adventure.

- Hey...
- I have an idea!

Who's the guy she danced with?

You know him?

All I know is he's called Marcel.

I know where he comes from.

He's a nut case!

He's just escaped
from an insane asylum.

We only realize he's mad
at the end of the film.

That morning, Champs-Élysées...

- Can't you salute when I pass?
- What?

We don't need to wait till the end
to see he's crazy!

It's Bastille Day...

No. A madman is sheer lunacy.

Think twice
before you open your big mouth.

- A lunatic!
- You never meta lunatic?

I certainly have!

Who isn't nutty in our industry?

Try working
with an uninspired collaborator

who looks for his characters
in loony bins!

Very well, have it your way.

Marcel hasn't escaped
from a mental home.

He broke out of prison...
Let me finish!

He's a murderer,
sentenced to life imprisonment.

He has the address of the judge
who sent him down.

He swore he'd take him out.

At dawn, Bastille Day...

Recognize me?
Time to pay your dues.

Shot. Interior van.

Marcel threatens the driver

and forces him to accelerate.
Shot of the driver.

Long shot. Pan.

A wild goose chase through Paris.

Tighter shot. The van roars ahead.

Pursued by cops on motorbikes.
Medium shot.

Tracking shot.
The van jumps 1, 2, 3, 4 sets of lights.

Up on the crane.

Overhead shot.
The van turns sharply.

Then skews round.
Skids wildly.

Crashes into a fruit
and veg stall.

The driver is killed.
Rue Caulaincourt.

The man flees, the cops on his heels.
Where to? Wide shot.

Montmartre Cemetery.
Tracking shot.

5 minutes later,
after shaking off the cops...

Ladies and gentlemen,

we're delighted to welcome

the star of the Swedish screen,
Ingrid Petersen,

who is honoring us
with her presence.

A big hand for Ingrid Petersen.

And we continue
our deeply moving story

of a gangster,
born again through love.

My dear pulp writer,
it stinks.

You're drowning in blood,
it sickens me.

And you set the action
in such unlikely places.

The Gaumont Palace Killer!

Absolutely not.

I can accept Marcel being an outlaw,
to make you happy,

but not a murderer.
No way.

- Don't count on him.
- Right.

If Marcel meets Henriette
that afternoon, it's only because

he lives on the ground floor,

and his window gives onto the square
we've just left.

We find him there,
listening passively

as Valentine chews him out.

- Valentine?
- His girlfriend.

You know what you are, Maurice?

He's not called Marcel now.

Note it, Nicole.

A bachelor degree, my foot!

You may be top of the class
but I'm not impressed.

I didn't slog through Latin,

but people understand what I say.

Do you mind? You didn't imagine
I'd leave empty-handed?

Find another sucker.

They're everywhere today.
The pickpocket season is open.

You were glad enough to find me
when the cops were onto you!

What's with you?

You're hatching a plan.

You're the invisible man in bed.

What's your problem?
Taken a vow?

That's an easy way out!

Hands off! Fragile!

Maurice! Maurice, honey!

Say something!
Hey, Maurice, baby!

Open up!

OK, I get it.

Loser, trickster,
fake tough guy, doormat!

You'll regret it!

When a guy dumps me
I always bounce back.

After all I've done for you.
You'll regret it.

There's a rough justice.

If you spit, it lands on someone!

Thief! Dirty thief!

OK. I get it.

It's all setup.

The Baron has left for Deauville
with his staff.

The house is empty.

Here's the plan of the house.

The first floor isn't interesting.

It's all on the ground floor.

Here: the drawing room.

The marked furniture and pictures

are to take away.

Here: the Baron's study.

In the study: a Van Gogh.

Behind the Van Gogh: a safe.

In the safe: 500,000 francs cash.
Take away.

4 gold nuggets of 10 kilos.
Take away.

The Baron's family jewels.
Take away.

Defense bonds
and government securities.

Don't bother.

Paulo and I will be on guard
in front of the house.

We'll keep watch. Don't worry.

We'll be dressed us cops.

It sickens me a bit
but we gotta make a living.

The removal truck arrives
at 5 p.m. sharp.

Transporting the furniture
and artworks

will take 12 minutes.

What do you mean, no?

This heist doesn't interest me.

Are you kidding?

- I have other plans. Bigger.
- You want to go it alone?

Not at all.
I've decided to change my life.

You can't renege
on your word of honor.

We planned this months ago.

- Right, Paulo?
- I'll say.

If we had the safe's combination,

we could manage without you.

But only you have the know how

to open the safe.

- Right, Paulo?
- I'll say!

It's a cushy little job.

- Right, Paulo?
- I'll say.

- Ask Tricard.
- He's doing time.

Go and see Bernot.

No, he's not honest.

C'mon, Maurice, a good deed.

No. I've lost my inspiration.

I want a quiet life,

nicking the odd wallet.

That your last word?

You have until 5 p.m. to decide.

At 5, I'll send the car over.

Dédé will drive.
He'll give you the house keys.

No, not another word.
At 5 p.m. the car will be there.

- Got it?
- Got it.

Time to go, Paulo.

I'll say.

That's the real Maurice.

An unethical personality
but undeniably appealing,

blessed with exceptional
manual skills.

Let's stay with him.

A shot of hooch.

A shot of hooch.

A double brandy.

- And my hooch?
- Wait your turn.

- This gent first, then you.
- But I was first.

I'll be damned! Adrien!

Yes, Maurice, Adrien.
Forever second.

Nothing's changed.
I'm still always second.

And you first.
Like at school.

- Cheers.
- Cheers, Maurice.

- I'm so glad to see you.
- Me too, genius.

I can admit it now:

studying bored me stiff.

No more books ever.

Why'd you always come first?

I was bright.

I wasn't. I slaved away.
Sundays and vacations too.

Still mad at me?

No, but I'd have liked
to come first once,

to see how it feels.

So what are you up to?

I'm in business. And you?

I'm in leather goods.

- Can't complain. Married?
- No. Happy. And you?

I'll marry
when I find a pure young girl.

You always want to be first.

'Fraid so.

What kind of business?

Big business or little business?


Heinous crimes or shop-lifting?

Crime brigade or vice squad?

Your badge, Inspector Maquard.

- Where did you get it?
- Where it was.

Same again.

A nice profession?

It has its charm.

We hear confessions.
Extort them.

- Yes, always the first!
- You bet!

Working in leather goods
has its advantages too.

I've had my eye on you.

- Still live opposite?
- I do.

- For 2 months now?
- 2 months.

I've heard about you from friends.

Come over for a stroll?

- A little ramble.
- Out of curiosity.

Yes. A Bastille Day ramble.

- Cheers, Maurice.
- Cheers, Adrien.


- We may run into each other again.
- Sure. Somewhere else.

Goodbye, Adrien.

So long, Maurice.

- Does Maurice come here often?
- Yes. 2 or 3 times a day.

He's a fine fellow. No fuss.
Generous too.

- Not that it costs him.
- Really?

He's a funny guy, you know.
Buy me a drink?

Delighted to.

A Diabolo.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we are delighted to welcome

the star of the Swedish screen,
Ingrid Petersen,

who is honoring us
with her presence.

A big hand for Ingrid Petersen!

And that is how
- no question about it -

we find Maurice on the square,

just us Ingrid Petersen
is presented to the crowd.

People ask for her autograph.

Marcel invites her to dance.

But Robert wants to see Rita,
so he lies to Henriette

and abandons her
for the Medrano Circus.

Now I'll dazzle you all.
May I?


In her luxurious satin dressing room,

I present Rita,
the fascinating circus rider.

Robert arrives
with his blood pressure or 16.5

and 95 heartbeats a minute.

The Medrano. Back stage.

Acrobatics. Somersaults.

Wild animals. Training.

Odor of manure.
Poetic documentary.

Funambulist atmosphere.

surprised by her indifferent glance,

approaches Rita.

She doesn't recognize him.

"Oh yes, the photographer!"


"A letter?
What letter?"

She wrote no letter.

Wait in her dressing room.
We'll solve this mystery later.

Suddenly a man appears.
Rita's lover.

The letter was a trap.

Because of the photo,
he thought Rita was cheating on him.

With him, blows talk.

He's Spanish.
He doesn't speak the same language.

The aggressor strikes his head
on the marble table.

He falls. He's dead.

So what do we do with the body?

That's the issue.
Dealing with the body. How?

He'll have to cross Paris
amidst revelries.

This is where the plot peaks.

Let's come down to earth
and discuss it calmly.

Refusing my suggestions?

I'd like to point out that
you've shown us a movie circus,

not a circus circus.

It's a subjective circus.

As for the letter,
no gratuitous mix-ups. Rita wrote it.

And I'll prove it...

Robert arrives at the Medrano.

He enters through the stage door,

shows his credentials
to the concierge.

The corridors are empty,
as they are in circuses.

The star's dressing room is sordid.

Come in!

I'm not disturbing you?

How sweet of you.

- Did you get my letter?
- Did you like my photos?

Yes, a lot.

The next number.

It came out nicely.


Miss Rita, you're on!

You're a little early.

But I have time, you know.

I hope so.

Let's go.

Do you like me?

Will you come or wait here?

I want to see your act.

Excuse me, you can't stay here.

- Idiot.
- Idiot yourself!

No, Robert.
Acting like an idiot.

Go easy on him.

He's a flirt, like all young people.

Reckless. Utterly reckless.

While he's romancing Rita,

Henriette is in great danger.

Can she escape?

Maurice has already tried
to lure her to his place.

To no avail.

He's tried to get her drunk,
in vain.

By chance, his friend Felix
is prowling nearby.

A perfect occasion.

"How about a little drive?"

"We'll get some air.
It will do you good."

There's drama in the air.

The music makes it clear.

Leave me alone. Be nice.

It's all I'm asking.

Stop it or I'll get out.

Leave me alone!

You kidding? You knew
we weren't going to the Notre-Dame.

You weren't born yesterday.

Stop the car! Will you stop?

Don't bother. He's a friend.

I'll scream for help!

No kidding.

Help! Help!

Let go of me! Help!

- Is he dead?
- As a doornail.

So what do we do with the body?

It's not a movie,
it's a bloodbath.

A bloodbath in gas storage tanks
and water towers.

You're a vile sadist.

I don't think like a 16-year old.

I've reached adulthood.

The adulthood of a stubborn elephant!

How I can make you realize
that Maurice,

crazy as he is,
is a likeable character?

Likeable! Hee-haw!
Got it this time?

Reverting to your mother tongue?

You're yourself again.

Nicole! Where were we?

"Robert has just left for the Medrano.
A child asks Henriette for an autograph.

Don't forget
she's still Ingrid Petersen,

the Swedish star,
in Maurice's eyes.

You're crying?

We kiss and you cry?

An incomprehensible country.

You sad? Why?

Me love Sweden.

What do I care?
I'm not Swedish.

My name isn't Ingrid Thingy.

I'm not in movies,
I live in Paris.

What's your name?


- Who's the photographer?
- No one special.

- Your boyfriend?
- My boyfriend?

He's my photographer.
Or was.

Saint Henri
Saint Henriette

You're all by yourself
on your name day?

Leave me alone.

- How much?
- 100 francs a bunch.

- No, the lot.
- The whole lot?

- Here. Is it enough?
- Sure is.

With the florist thrown in.
To take away?

The flowers, yes.

Hey, kids! Over here.

Come here.

Want to be nice?

See that young lady,
near the gas lamp?

You each give her a bouquet

and say:
"Happy name day, Henriette".

Here. Share it between you.

It'll be fun.

"Happy name day, Henriette".

Not Henriette.
She's "Gingrid".

Not a problem.

Go. Toddlers first.

You all remember?
"Happy name day, Henriette".

With love from Henriette.

Happy name day, Henriette!

Where do you live?

With your parents?

I like being independent.

What do they do?

My father is at the Elysee.
He works with the President.

I don't do anything.

How about you?

What do I look like?

A nice guy.
But that's not a job.

I'm an airline pilot.
An aviator.

Don't look up.
I'm down here.

It must be marvelous to fly.
Dangerous too.

- It's fun.
- And you see the world!

Paris, New York...


Right now India.


Chandannagar and Benares.

Kashmir and Bengal.

Saigon and Bombay.

I'd love to travel.

I dare you!

Dare me?

- I'll take you.
- Where to?

Wherever you like.

Wherever I like?
How marvelous!

Waiter, a map of the world.

Take your pick.
Where would you like to go?

To the Marquesas Islands?
Saint Louis Blues? Duke Ellington?

To OI' Mun River?
There's my car.

- You have a car?
- And a driver.


We're leaving now?

We'll pick up some cash on the way.

- Do you live far?
- On the way there.

Excuse me.

- The keys?
- Changed your mind?

- Yes. But I'm not alone.
- Women and business...

- You're my driver, OK?
- Very good, Baron.

- Hello, sir.
- Hello, Sergeant.

- Hello, miss.
- Hello.

Your local police are very polite.

They're special agents.

After you.

- We can't see a thing.
- Just a second.

How silly.
I can't find the light switch.

Here it is!

What a beautiful place you have!

Delightful, isn't it?

It's like a palace.

I inherited it from my parents.
I haven't touched it.

I just drop in.

Between flights.

Don't be scared. It's all electric.
My father loved progress.

The paintings! And the vases!

And the statues.

And the carpets.

It's like walking
on whipped egg whites.

And the chandelier!

If it fell on your head
you'd lose a fortune.

You know, nothing's mine.

I'd never have guessed.
You're so modest.

So straightforward.

When I think you live here!

Very rarely.

That's obvious.
You're so simple.

How nice of you.

That deserves a kiss.

Not right away.

Just one, for a taste.

Once we start there's no end.

When you've had enough,
say "pax".

I'm busy!



You're right.
We'll miss our plane.

Wait. I have a surprise for you.

Do you play Patience?

Of course. Why?

- But why?
- I'm thinking.

Go on. I won't be a minute.
I made a vow.

Yes, this is the Élysée.
Who do you want?

Monsieur Vincent Auriol?
I'm sorry,

Monsieur Auriol
no longer works here.

Listen to you!

- Is it coming out?
- It's looking good.

Which do you prefer?
Argentina or Mexico?

- Or Peru?
- I can't decide without seeing them.

Perfect. We'll go there and choose.

My Patience paid off!

Mine too.

Stay there and shut your eyes.

So you can kiss me again?

Not every 5 minutes.

Close your eyes.

Say when I can open them?


Look at your wedding trousseau.

Or your overnight bag.

- You're joking?
- I've never been more serious.

This morning I vowed
to change my life. A whim.

Meeting you,
that whim became an obsession.

I recognized you
by some unmistakable signs.

You're my first lucky break
and my last hand.

We're going away together.

- Going away?
- Yes. Tonight.

- It's impossible.
- You agreed just now.

- It was a joke...
- A joke on who?

I lied to you.

I'm not free.
I don't live alone.

- You have a lover?
- No. Parents.

But you guessed right.

Robert, the photographer,
isn't nobody.

Robert is...
not my lover, of course.

Well, not yet.

But he does matter.

Do me a favor.

Put all this back.

If I wanted it... But I don't.

A pity.

Maybe I'll go away with you.

- Maybe or definitely?
- Maybe definitely.

I'll make you an offer.

I have a date with Robert,
Place du Tertre.

Let's go there.

Either he won't come
and I'll do what you want.

Or he will and he'll see you.

And beat you up.

- Or not.
- If he doesn't, I'll do what you want.

You give me 2 chances out of 3.

Decent odds.

- A visitor?
- I'm not expecting anyone.

Don't move.

So you've changed your mind.

What's going on?


Murder! Help!

Police! Come quickly! Help!

Help! Hurry!


What? Aren't you a bit...

Damn! The cops.

Watch out.

So what's going on?

What's this about?

- What's up?
- Nothing. A mistake.

A mistake?

We came for a delivery.

We introduce ourselves politely
and he sends us packing.

They got the address wrong.

They won't believe
this isn't rue Chabert.

It's second left.

- Exactly.
- You see?

Get going.
What are you waiting for?

OK. We're off.

Coming, Chips?

Thank you for stepping in.

It's lucky you were there.

Shall we go?

If you like.
I'll get my things.

So what do we do?

Dinner on Place du Tertre.

Inspector Maquard,
arrest those two men.

- They're burglars.
- Burglars?

Don't argue! Arrest them!
What are you waiting for?

Now for the inspector.

My tip-off was good.
You arrived first again.

Because I wanted it that way.
I'm sorry.

Inspector. Arrest this man.
He's a dangerous burglar.

It's the madman
from the Saint-Louis Asylum.

It's him.

Thinks he's a cop.
We sectioned him twice.

Exactly. Tell that to the judge.

Gentlemen, do your duty.

Of course, Inspector.
Of course they will.

Don't upset him or he'll cry.

Take him away gently.
He's harmless.

Right, sir.

- Come along.
- What?

You first, Inspector.

- I tell you...
- You're an inspector.

Sure. Hurry up,
the chief of police is waiting.

I'll have you suspended.

Sure you will. Move it.

- How crazy!
- What a day! It's wonderful.

Place du Tertre?

Place du Tertre.

Let me go! That's an order!

Shut up! The lake's over.

Walk or we'll straighten you out.

Place du Tertre.


- Officers!
- Beat it. The jig's up.

Inspector Maquard!
Arrest those two men!

"And the two imposters

"are arrested."

Unbeknown to Maurice,

who sees himself crossing the border

with a willing Henriette.

Dissolve. A kiss on the mouth.
The train pulling out.

Music. Crescendo. The end.
Get your ice creams! Pathetic!

Let me talk, will you?

Wait your turn!

Inspector Maquard
arrests Maurice for burglary.

And Henriette for complicity.

Criminal Court. A legal error.

A Chaplinesque twist.

Give him a hot towel.
That will calm him down.

You don't agree?

No! There must be a happy end!

I see you with your tray.
Sodas, grenadine, candy.

I prefer grenadine to arsenic.

I prefer crime or suicide
to little lies

for lifeless people.

You lie when you claim
life is a bed of roses

and all's well
that ends well.

I reject intellectual duplicity!

And I won't buy
the systematic pessimism

of a camera demagogue!

I'm going back to Paris!

- Good riddance!
- Finish the script without me!

I'm not done!

It burns!

Good Lord! Nicole,
you'd have Henriette arrested?

No way! You can't give
a lousy cop the last word.

My friend is a police inspector,
he's very nice.

I won't congratulate you.

I'll do without it.

If you say so.
If you like stuck pig...

If my friend was here,
he'd put you in your place.

Like hell he would!

He's beaned people for less.

What a sweet little brute.

He's a great guy!

Police stop killings.
They prevent wars.

No cop ever stopped a war!

Silence! Silence!

Sit down!
We can't hear ourselves think!

Drama! I need drama!

Massage his head.
On my bill.

Sit down, sir.

That's enough!

- A bit shorter at the back.
- Yes, sir.

You want drama?

You'll have drama.

The two removal men are on the run.

They have a score
to settle with Maurice.

Meanwhile Maquard will make
the two fake cops talk.

They're meeting Maurice
on Place du Tertre.

Maybe he'll end up arresting Maurice...

Is that a reason to forget Robert?

Life goes on at the Medrano...

and the show's been over for a while.

You can leave us.

I understand.
The photographer is cute.

What are you thinking about?

What about?

Yes. Shall I tell you?

The some as what I'm thinking.

- As what you're thinking?
- Exactly.

And I think if you think
I'm thinking about what you're thinking,

we're on the some wavelength.

Help me.

Loves me.

- I'm sorry?
- Keep going,

Loves me.
Loves me not.

Loves me.
Loves me not.

Loves me?

You missed a button.

So I did!

I know.
You think I'm used to...

You have a blackhead on your lip.

No. He's my father.

He was a great Hungarian general.

When Hungary entered the war
in '14, he resigned,

to save his reputation.

He's in London.

He's just published his memoirs.

30 Years of Watercolors.

He's painted watercolors all his life.

Horses and watercolors.
He was a great general.

Why are you looking at me like that?
Am I so special?

- No.
- Why not?

No. Behave.

For the moment.

Do you like me? A bit?

A lot!

So why rush things
as we both agree?

Come in.

Here's our dinner.


- Put it there.
- Yes, ma'am.

One thing at a time.

First we'll have dinner.

- First?
- Yes.


Stop that! Stop it!
What is all this?

Eroticism, my friend!
Eternal eroticism!

There's a cure for it!

Cut it out!

their fate is sealed!

Fate again?
You never give up!

Poor Henriette must be sulking.

- Your first visit here?
- What?

- Never been here before?
- Certainly not!

The Sleeping Pig

But they're the removal men!

You've got a nerve!

Quiet, I'll explain.

- Yes, he'll explain.
- After the autopsy.

- And Henriette is dead?
- As a doornail.

Perfect. But what do we do
with the body?

Do we have to kill her?

We have to kill them both.
What do we risk?

No. Your plot is going
from bad to worse.

Where are we heading?
What do we want?

To sleep with the rider.

That's exactly what we're doing.

And please, forget

that dreary procession of naked women.

The flesh is sad, alas,
and I've seen all the movies...

Besides, nightclubs
- as the name indicates -

are shut at 6 p.m.,
Maurice can't take Henriette there.

At this very moment,

they're sitting on Place du Tertre,
as planned.

Henriette wants her revenge on Robert.

At the Medrano Circus,
we've finished making love.

- Already?
- At last!

Miss Rita,
the Travellers are on now!


Darling, did you hear that?

I'm on in 5 minutes.

What's the time?

Time for us to part.

- Have you a photo of yourself?
- Yes. What sort?

An ID photo.

You look dead beat, baby.

I didn't disappoint you?

You performed just us I'd expected.

No more or less.
You're a fine lad.

Here. It's not very flattering.

What are you doing?

- Putting you in my visitor's book.
- What?

Here, sign it.

Shall I add a thought?

No. Your signature.
Paris. The date.

Full stop.

I didn't pick you for your thoughts.


When you come back to Paris...

I hope you'll have the tact
to stay at home.

You see,
I work to stay independent.

And not be bothered.

If all men and women acted like me,

life would be a lot nicer.

But people don't have the courage
to do what they want.

If you don't leave now,
you'll be late for your date.

- It's already too late.
- Who knows?

And thanks for the photo.

Come in.

- Won't you kiss me?
- I hate kissing.


- Place du Tertre.
- No. Bastille, if you like.

You really don't want to eat?

- I'm not hungry.
- The check!

- Right away, sir.
- No! Let's stay a bit longer.

He won't come now.

5 minutes.

OK. So you won't hold
5 minutes against me later.

I'll lend them to you.
You have a lifetime to pay me back.

The chips are down.

No more bets.

- Arthur and Paulo got busted.
- No kidding?

Thanks for the tip-off.
Where is he?

There, on the square.

- I want to tell you something.
- I'm watching time die.

Minutes die young this year.

Which station do you prefer?
Saint-Lazare, Lyon?

We'll go wherever you like.

We have to be far from here
tomorrow night.

Waiter, the check.

No! I lied to you.

It's not my fault.
Don't be mad.

I don't love you.
But you're very nice.

Without you
I'd have been miserable all day.

But I don't love you.

You already told me.
Waiter, the check!

I wanted to show off, you see?

I was furious. I was annoyed.

I was so unhappy.

I didn't want to show it.

So when you talked about
taking me away,

I played along.

I was so sure it would work out,

that he'd come back.

It's not my fault.

I know you don't love me.

Don't feel bad.
I didn't fall for it.

You dream you're happy,

suddenly you wake up,
then go back to sleep.

Half awake, you want
to keep on dreaming, to see.

Dawn breaks.

And you open your eyes.
Life is back.

The bad dream begins.

It's over.

Yet this bungled Bastille Day
will be a sweet memory for you.

That's nice.

We'll take a little walk.

We may meet in the crowd

the one you're waiting for.

No. You've told me everything.

I'll pay at the bar.

Excuse me, ma'am.

I already asked for the check.

What did you have?

He's done for.

This time, you're done for.

Don't try anything.

- Good timing. I've nowhere to go.
- You see?

I let you have dinner.

She's waiting for me outside.

Let me say goodbye properly.

She doesn't know a thing.

She took me for someone else.
Someone I could have been.

2 minutes, then I'll join you.

Word of honor.

I believe you.

Go ahead.

You first...

for the last time.

Come on.

It's over.

A gift for Saint Henriette.

- For your girl?
- No, for my fiancée.

So you want something nice?

- About how much?
- She's about 20.

I'll always have
a lovely memory of you.

Don't you believe me?

Promise to keep it to yourself.

Don't share it with anyone.

Not with anyone.


What's that supposed to mean?

One goes off left,
the other right?

- You can't separate them!
- We have to unite them.

- I didn't say anything.
- Me neither.

I thought they'd meet by the shop.

Catching them now...

There's always a point
when characters do what they like

without consulting the authors.

But they absolutely must meet up.

It's child play.

Robert rushes to Henriette's.

And Henriette runs to Robert's.

Tired of waiting,

they each take the metro home.

And so on.

The parasol!

It's thanks to the parasol
that Robert finds Henriette!

Robert, looking for an overhead shot,

climbs to a 5th floor window.


The weather's been perfect.
No one has an umbrella.

Let them go.
They'll end up meeting.

It's a small world.

- Robert?
- Yes?

You're looking for Ingrid?

She's looking for you there.

Thanks so much, mister.

- Excuse me, I'm left-handed.
- Sorry.

Where were you?
I was looking for you.

Let me finish...
To marry you!

"And fireworks light up the night sky.
The end."

So how do you like the script?

You have a great part.

Delightful. Sadly,
it's a part I already played.

- And a film I already shot.
- What?

The script takes place on Bastille Day?

Saint Henriette's,
Republican Guard father,

a burglary, a phony cop,

a circus rider, a photo journalist,

a stolen necklace and a waltz.

- It was all there.
- Incredible!

- Reality at times...
- Then we're plagiarists.

- Victims of coincidence.
- You're joking!

Not at all.
I can see the credits.

I can even recite them by heart:

Arys Nissotti and Pierre O'Connell

A film by Julien Duvivier

with Dany Robin

Michel Auclair

and Hildegarde Neff


Screenplay by
Julien Duvivier and Henri Jeanson

Dialogue by Henri Jeanson


Subtitles: Lenny Borger - Charlotte Trench

A 4K digitization and restoration
by L'Immagine Ritrovata - Bologna

with the support of the CNC