An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher’s name and outstanding reputation in a crooked business scheme.
Ken Yousten <[email protected]>
User Reviews: John Barrymore offers a brilliant performance as a French school teacher who is honest but soon learns the crooked ways from the business world and then uses them to his advantage. This movie is based on Marcel Pagnol’s play about a mousy French school teacher and the last RKO studio’s triumph with producer David Selznick.
The Broadway show was a very successful and ran 215 showings in 1930. The story is about a French school teacher who’s a rather old fashioned simpleton. His reputation is high enough for wealthy industrialist to use his good name on a soft drink of lesser quality. Selznick was not too keen on the satirical content of the book but thought John Barrymore would be the best man to play the lead role of the movie. With the assistance of screen writer Ben Hecht and a superb team of supporting stars that includes; Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason, Jackie Searl and Jobyna Howland, the story was turned into a delightful parody on the screen.
One of the controversial plots of the movie is that Myrna Loy plays the part of Coco, a kept woman of married man Baron Philippe De La Tour (Reginald Mason). This movie was released in the pre-code era of 1933 without a hitch, but when the studio re-released in 1936, it was rejected by the industry censor because the promiscuous relationship in the movie, "without compensating moral values," said the censor board. Surprisingly this movie is also considered as the best American movie of 1933 by the National Board of Review. In spite of all these controversies, the movie is outstanding and the story is absolutely offbeat. I am sure everyone will enjoy this classic.