My Gleanings

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Truffaut "presents" Sacha Guitry

As Criterion prepares to release its Eclipse box-set "Presenting Sacha Guitry", I thought I might share this quote from François Truffaut’s (writing as Robert Lachenay) review of Guitry’s Si Versailles m'était conté which appeared in the April 1954 issue of Cahiers du Cinema.

They [the critics] cold-shoulder him, preferring Rene Clair. I, not able to bear a repeat viewing of Belles des nuits, can freely watch and re-watch Faisons un rêve..., Les Perles de la couronne and Le Roman d’un tricheur . La Poison would make a less dishonorable Delluc than something so dreadfully boring as the likes of Les Fâcheux modernes. (Cahiers du Cinema April 1954 page 64)

Two of the three Guitry films which Truffaut can “watch and rewatch” Les Perles de la couronne and Le Roman d’un tricheur are included in the Eclipse set. La Poison is a Guitry from 1951, a year - and the only year other than the war years - in which no Prix Louis Delluc was awarded. Les Fâcheux modernes better known as Les Casse-pieds took the Delluc in 1948. In the last sentence quoted, Truffaut plays with the French language as “casse-pied” = “boring”.

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