Les dieux s’amusent (1935)

Article 3798 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-28-2011
Posting Date: 2-7-2012
Directed by Reinhold Schunzel and Albert Valentin
Featuring Henri Garat, Armand Bernard, Jeanne Boitel
Country: Germany
What it is: Mythological musical comedy

The god Jupiter attempts to seduce a mortal woman by disguising himself as her husband, who is off fighting the wars.

This movie entered my list at the same time as AMPHITRYON did, as they are German and French language versions of the same story made concurrently. Whereas I was able to find the German language version soon enough, this one languished on my list long enough to be consigned to the “ones-that-got-away” list, and only now am I rescuing it from there. Since the German version had no English subtitles, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, but I was better prepared for it with this version (which also lacks English subtitles), and was able to appreciate it more. Armed with a bit of a plot description, I was better able to appreciate the humor, especially with the situation that not only is Jupiter disguising himself, but so is his sidekick Mercury, except the latter is forced to disguise himself as a dolt. I don’t remember how impressive the musical numbers were in the other version, but I was quite impressed with some of them here, especially a spectacular number that takes place when the men return from the wars; there’s a dance number with women in white gowns that is almost kaleidoscopic in its feel. Granted, many of the specifics still elude me, but I think I enjoyed this one a lot more this time.

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