Skip to main content

By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

THE FRENCH WAY (1945)

Though filmed in 1940, the occupation of France during World War II kept this charming comedy off French screens for several years. The legendary Josephine Baker stars as Zazu, a singer enlisted to break up the romance between a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Bernard (Georges Marchal) and Claire (Micheline Presle) are in love, but their parents are feuding. His father, who’s written a biography of Napoleon, has insulted her mother by proving that her great-great grandmother did not have an affair with the emperor. Baker’s role is a departure from her earlier ones in that the film presents her not as a young woman looking for love and a musical career, but rather as an established star who owns her own nightclub (as she did in real life). Filmed during German bombing raids, The French Way (a.k.a. Fausse alerte) makes jokes about blackouts and air-raid shelters in a last burst of frivolity, just as the reality of World War II was setting in. It appears here in a beautiful restoration completed by Jeff Joseph for SabuCat Productions. (d. Jacques de Baroncelli, 74m, Digital)