Le Roman d’un Tricheur

France, 1936 (Sacha Guitry; 1h 21m)

The thirties. Sound is here, and we can get started! I wanted something I hadn’t seen from Jon’s evening class selection – but this is an area into which I have dug relatively deeply: Renoir, Korda, Vigo, Duvivier, CarnĂ© – but wait, what’s this… Sacha Guitry’s masterpiece?

…a fast-paced, quasi-comedy is propelled entirely by Guitry’s narration. As the central character (played by Guitry) regales the audience with his life story, the actors and performers literally go through the motions of the tale. (This narrative-driven technique was imitated by Francois Truffaut in the film “Jules et Jim.”) In “Cheat,” the childhood Guitry (played by Serge Grave) is banned from eating dinner one night for misconduct. But his family, after eating the mushroom meal, dies of food poisoning. Guitry’s character makes an instant ally of trickery and profits from it the rest of his life.

Desson Howe, Washington Post
Date: June 21st, 2020
Time: 9:30am
Finishes at: 10:55am