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Fernandel the Dressmaker

the Brattle

By Gerald E. Bunker

The Brattle's latest Gallic import is unaffectedly gay, fresh, witty, and delightful without a single existential, soul-searching or morbid note. Fernandel is in his very best and unhackneyed form and Suzy Delair as his slightly dumpy but not unattractive wife is fully his match.

The French never seem so amusing as when they are laughing at themselves and at human nature in general. And it is kindly and tolerant laughter. The subject of spoof in Fernandel the Dressmaker is the Parisian haute couture.

The plot is rather frail as to be expected in light farce, but such is its success that one never notices. The irrepressible Fernandel plays a harrassed husband who feels that his real calling is women's fashions. One of his extra-curricular conquests leaves him the controlling interest in a fashion house that is on the skids, and amidst great swish and swirl our hero conquers the world of fashion. And with the usual amorous byplay, all comes out well in the end.

Second to Fernandel himself, what makes the film come over so well is the excellent script by Gerald Cartlier. Never does it lag and never does he overwork a gag. Director Jean Boyer also deserves credit for this excellent bubbling flow that is the strength of the picture.

Fernandel the Dressmaker, if ineptly titled, is a completely winning and carefree entertainment, proving that if the French can't run a country, they can at least have a very good laugh.

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