Review: ‘Sous les Toits de Paris’

Director Rene Clair wrote the story himself. It is the simplest kind of yarn. A boy loves a girl. He is sent to jail for a short time. When he comes back he finds she has fallen in love with his best friend. They shake hands all around. Practically nothing else of importance happens, and yet the director has managed to wind together a film that holds and never lags.

Director Rene Clair wrote the story himself. It is the simplest kind of yarn. A boy loves a girl. He is sent to jail for a short time. When he comes back he finds she has fallen in love with his best friend. They shake hands all around. Practically nothing else of importance happens, and yet the director has managed to wind together a film that holds and never lags.

Clair permits only occasional sequences with conversation. But the acting, the score and sound effects allow for perfect understanding of the action.

As an instance, two men are shown through the glass doors of a cafe. They are seen to be looking out at a girl passing by. Their faces show their thoughts to be alike. The girl is shown smiling at them. They start out, only to stop when they realize they are both going for the one girl. Back the two men start toward the bar. They pick up a pair of dice and play. One starts out alone. All of which is a few minutes of plot development without talk.

Score is carefully written to hold interest. Most of it comes from dancehalls nearby or phonograph records. There are two songs, one being the same title as the picture and having a nice melody.

Albert Prejean does an excellent piece of acting as the boy, and Pola Illery is as good as the girl. Support parts are carefully played.

Sous les Toits de Paris

France

Production

Tobis. Director Rene Clair; Screenplay Rene Clair; Camera Georges Perinal; Editor Rene Le Henaff; Music Armand Bernard (arr.); Art Director Lazare Meerson

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1930. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Albert Prejean Pola Illery Gaston Modot Edmond Greville Paul Ollivier Bill Bocket
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