Cheri Bibi (1937)

Genres - Adventure  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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This lightning-paced actioner is based on a popular series of French pulp novels. His somewhat effeminate moniker notwithstanding, Cheri-Bibi (Pierre Fresnay) is a two-fisted he-man gangster, albeit with a heart of gold. Sentenced to life imprisonment in a brutal French penal colony, Cheri-Bibi befriends wastrelly first offender Palas (Jean-Pierre Aumont), helping the boy to survive life behind bars. Also on hand is the matchless Marcel Dalio as a philosophical convict known as "The Giver." Dialogue is at a minimum: this is one instance where actions definitely speak louder than words. The original story for Cheri-Bibi was written by Gaston Leroux, of Phantom of the Opera fame.