Julietta (1953)

Comedy / Romance


Julietta photo
Whilst holidaying in Limoges, Madame Valender tries to marry her daughter Julietta to Hector d'Alpon, a wealthy prince, to make an impression on everyone. However, Julietta has no interest in money and fame so she is reluctant to participate in her mother's game. When they are travelling back to Paris by train, Julietta finds a cigarette holder belonging to a man who has just left the train. As she runs after him to return the cigarette holder, the train leaves the station without her. The man, a lawyer named Maître Landrecourt, asks her to stay at his house until the morning, after which she must leave. The next day, Landrecourt has an appointment with his fiancée, the snobbish Rosie. What Landrecourt doesn't know is that Julietta has decided to run away from everything and is there to stay. Unfortunately for Julietta, Landrecourt intends returning to the house with Rosie, who just happens to be a good friend of Hector d'Alpon. Rosie has even taken the liberty of inviting the prince to Landrecourt's house for the weekend...
© Willems Henri (Brussels, Belgium)

Film Review

Film poster
One of Marc Allegrét's slickest and most inspired comedies is this hectic ménage à trois farce, a film which effectively combines the elements of social satire, rom-com and vaudeville into one heady gag-packed concoction. Those who believe that Jean Marais is suited only for straight dramatic roles will be in for a surprise when they watch this film. As the increasingly desperate lover who tries to keep his prudish fiancée away from another woman (a young slip of a thing that has somehow inveigled her way into his attic, presumably making him a kind of inverted Mr Rochester) Marais is hilarious, far funnier that he would be in the subsequent Fantômas films.

The eye-catching Dany Robin is given star billing alongside Marais, although it is the young Jeanne Moreau who makes the bigger impression, deftly snatching the rug from underneath Robin's feet at every opportunity. Early in her career, Moreau had yet to gravitate to the kind of roles that suited her persona and acting style (that would not come until she played Catherine in François Truffaut's Jules et Jim almost a decade later), but she is a delight in this film, perfectly suited to play the part of the fastidious snob Rosie. Assisted by Allegrét's light-as-gossamer directorial touch and a script that abounds in amusing comic situations, Moreau, Marais and Robin form an unbeatable combination, transforming what might have been a humdrum and rather silly comedy into an entertaining minor classic of French cinema.
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The director Marc Allégret also worked with the actor Jean Marais on the film Futures vedettes (1955).

Film Credits

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