Georges Feydeau and Eugène Labiche, are among the authors of the most famous vaudeville. Although written at the end of the Nineteenth century, these pieces are still incredibly popular. Several of them have been brought to the big screen. Among these adaptations, we find the good and the less good.
● The Wire to the Tab (2004)
Adapted into a film in 1933, the play by Georges Feydeau was, once again, by Michel Deville, who dreamed of “video of this mix so clean vaudeville – cynicism, humour, ambition and power of money”. Bois d’enghien (Charles Berling), who is destined to marry a beautiful and rich girl, sorry to leave his sultry mistress, Lucette (Emmanuelle Beart). Things get complicated when the mother of his future wife comes dangerously close to Bois d’enghien. “This wire to the leg then slams dry, smells like an exercise in style, performance, and its purpose is not so topical. But we have a lot of fun to see the actors entertain themselves with such spirits,” wrote Le Figaro at the time of exit.
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● a Flea in The ear (1968)
Jacques Charon, proposes a reinterpretation in the u.s. of the work of Feydeau. A woman suspects her husband of infidelity. In order to take in flagrante delicto, she makes an appointment with you anonymously in a hotel. He decides to send a faithful friend, but he does not know that one of the employees of the hotel looks the same. Misunderstandings, lies, deceptions: the ingredients of vaudeville are brought together and the whole is quite effective.
… but also the less good
● An Italian straw hat (1944)
Adaptation of the play by Eugène Labiche, the film of Maurice Cammage is the stage for a Fernandel overtaken by events, in the role of a certain Fadinard. During his marriage with Helena, a horse eats the straw hat of a guest, Ms. Beaupertuis, in the company galante. Very jealous, the husband of the latter enjoins Fadinard find a hat identical, in order to avoid any suspicion. The tricky situations are going to unfold. If it starts on the hats of wheels, this comedy slapstick does not convince. Despite a few flashes, Fernandel fails to infuse the movie with the energy inherent in the piece.
● We bleed baby (1931)
In 1931, Jean Renoir has worn on the big screen the play by Georges Feydeau. With her jars of rooms, unbreakable, Mr. Follavoine (Jacques Louvigny) dream of winning the market of the French army. In order to achieve his purpose, he invites them to dinner an official influence of the ministry of the armed forces, his wife and her lover. But that night, nothing will go as planned. More filmed theatre than film, the first feature length film speaking of Jean Renoir suffers from a certain lack of staging. And because the director would not have put with a week to shoot this adaptation…
● Turkey (2019)
Jalil Lespert revisits the famous play by Georges Feydeau. This classic of the theatre of the boulevard has already been adapted several times in film. This time the melodrama takes place in the 1960s. Pontagnac (Guillaume Galienne), a womanizer, inveterate, falls head over high heels of a young woman (Alice Pol) – he will not learn until later that this is the wife of one of his old friends, Vatelin (Dany Boon). This adaptation fails to capture the blistering speed which has made the success of the piece. “The characters flowing of air without causing the slightest laugh,” according to our reporter Nathalie Simon. Unfortunate for the Feydeau. Despite everything, this new adaptation is the sign of the timelessness of these pieces of theatre popular: more than a century after their first performances on the grand boulevards of paris, they play again.
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