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Silence is Golden

Le silence est d’or

Though less well known than his comedies of the 1920s and early 1930s, René Clair’s first post-war film – a very funny cautionary tale – is arguably his masterpiece.

Dir-Scr René Clair
Prod Adrien Rémaugé
With Maurice Chevalier, François Périer, Marcelle Derrien
France
1947
98min
Prod Co Pathé Films
Subtitles

Set in a meticulously recreated Paris of 1906, Silence is Golden stars Maurice Chevalier (superb) as silent-movie director Émile, who teaches the art of seduction to his timid assistant, unaware the lad’s honing his skills on a girl to whom Émile has taken an unfortunate shine. Both this problematic triangle and the early filmmaking milieu make for much affectionate humour, but the film, ironic yet serious, also excels in its wise depiction both of the practised deceits of romantic pursuit and of the transient niceties of life.

Geoff Andrew

Additional information

Restored in 4K with the support of the CNC.

+ Entr’acte

Dir René Clair. France 1924. 22min
Restored in 4K with the support of the CNC
With Erik Satie score

Clair’s Dadaist classic, shot for the interval in Picabia’s ballet; music by Satie. Look for Satie, Picabia, Duchamp and Man Ray amid the crazy playfulness.

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