Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Director René Clair insisted that his 1952 production Beauties of the Night (Les Belles du Nuit) was intended as a comic variation on Griffith's multipart Intolerance (1916). The Clair film deals with a disillusioned music teacher (Gérard Philipe) who dreams of the beautiful women of history, envisioning himself as the central male figure in each dream. The imaginary ladies (including such internationally famous lovelies as Martine Carol and Gina Lollobrigida) begin converging on the hero all at once, much to the delight of both Philipe and the audience. At several junctures, Clair revives a technique from his earliest talkies by having the characters sing their lines and thoughts rather than speaking them. These treasured musical moments are somewhat dissipated when Beauties of the Night is seen in an edited, redubbed American print -- which also "fudges" the film's notorious Gina Lollobrigida nude scene.
composer, daydream, dream, fantasy, France, orchestra, police, reality, sanity, teacher, cafe, cashier, failure, harem, history, love