LE SILENCE EST D’OR (René Clair, 1947)

Known in the U.S. by the title Man About Town, Le silence est d’or (literally, Silence Is Golden), from France and the U.S., is writer-director René Clair’s first film after returning from Hollywood to Paris following the end of the Second World War. It stars, in his finest role, Maurice Chevalier as middle-aged Emile Clément, […]

BEAUTY AND THE DEVIL (René Clair, 1949)

Okay, okay; I was wrong to write off postwar René Clair. His return to France after his Hollywood sojourn generated some substantial work, including his dazzling comical take on the Faust legend, La beauté du diable. (Actually, it was filmed in Rome.) Perhaps the exchange that governs the seriousness of Clair’s purpose beneath the film’s […]


Depending on the source, either a story or a play by twentieth-century Anglo-Irish author Lord Dunsany (Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany) is credited as a basis for René Clair’s comedy-fantasy It Happened Tomorrow, which itself may have inspired the U.S. television series Early Edition starring Kyle Chandler. Dudley Nichols and Clair […]

THE GRAND MANEUVERS (René Clair, 1955)

Under the spell of Max Ophüls’s Madame de . . . (1952), René Clair made his finest film since Quatorze Juillet (1933)—and his funniest since Le million (1931). Moreover, this film became his first in color—and such color: the cinematography by Robert Le Fèbvre and Robert Juillard achieved the loveliest, most gracious colors—restricted (as Garbicz […]