Sylvia and the Phantom (1945)

Article #715 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-28-2003
Posting Date: 7-28-2003
Directed by Claude Autant-Lara
Featuring Odette Joyeux, Jacques Tati, Francois Perier

The father of a young woman who has sworn not to marry due to her love for an ancestral phantom decides to hire an actor to impersonate the phantom at a ball.

This movie is sitting with a low rating on IMDB, and I wonder if it might be due to the fact that Jacques Tati, who is better known for his Monsieur Hulot comedies, appears in it; it is certainly not what a fan of his work might expect. Me, I found the subtitles a little confusing on occasion, and I’m sure that I missed some of the subtleties, but ultimately I was charmed by the whole affair. Much of it has to do with the appealing characters that appear throughout the story, and the fact that the story never quite falls out the way I would expect. It’s a gentle, funny and sad movie, and I found myself totally caught up in it. Nonetheless, the low rating at IMDB does serve as a bit of a warning, and Jacques Tati fans in particular may be disappointed.


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