Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Molière's play about a "bourgeois gentleman" was the basis for this cinematic interpretation of the same story, which illustrates the differences between theater performances and the silver screen. The play has interludes of music, it is performed as a ballet, and stage sets tend to remain right where they are for the duration of a long scene or an act, or more. In contrast, this film is not a ballet, though music is interwoven with the scenes, the action is emphasized more than on a static stage set, and the "gentleman" of the title, Monsieur Jourdain, is played by Michel Galabru with facial expressions necessary for the stage, though a bit much for the close-up shots of a camera. Monsieur Jourdain is a wealthy man who wants to rise up the social ladder but only succeeds in giving away his lack of sensibility at every turn, and soon he has some of the impoverished nobility wanting to use his lucre as a springboard back into the good life. He is easily fooled, as when the marriage of his daughter is arranged behind his back -- if only he would listen to his wife (Rosy Varte), who has so much more common sense.
daughter, marriage, nouveau-riche, social-classes, social-climber