Bizarre Bizarre

Screenwriter Jacques Prevert drew on his surrealist roots for this hugely entertaining 1937 burlesque on detective stories (originally known as Drole de Drame), in which several of France's great outsize actors of the 30s—Michel Simon, Louis Jouvet, Francoise Rosay, and Jean-Louis Barrault—get to cut up even more extravagantly than usual, under the alibi that they're all playing Brits. Marcel Carne's direction is much too innately stodgy for this kind of free-form exercise, but it's enough, really, for him to simply train his camera on his enthusiastic cast. With Jean-Pierre Aumont. In French with subtitles. 84 min.

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