PAS QUESTION LE SAMEDI (1966)
aka Impossible on Saturday
Article 4179 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Alex Joffe
Featuring Robert Hirsch, Dalia Friedland, Misha Asherov
Country: Italy / Israel / France
What it is: Comedy
A Jewish conductor, after having lived a sinful life, is visited by the ghost of his father on his deathbed, and told that he can only redeem himself if his six sons (only one of whom is legitimate) all marry Israeli wives and get together for a memorial prayer in one month’s time.
For a while, I thought this was going to end up on my “ones that got away” list despite my best intentions; I knew the movie existed and that it was on DVD in France, but for the longest time I couldn’t find a dealer who was willing to ship a copy to me here in the USA. However, I finally found one, and here it is. I knew at the outset that it wouldn’t have English subtitles, so I armed myself with a short plot description and sat down and watched. Fortunately, that was enough; though a number of details certainly eluded me, much of the humor and plot is conveyed through visual terms, and I did find myself caught up in the movie and rather than having been left scratching my head. In particular, I like the scenes involving the conductor and his father (both of whom are ghosts throughout most of the length of the movie), and I especially like that the ghost of the father (who is dressed in white to indicate his purity) is talked into interfering with situations in the real world to save his son’s soul, only to find pieces of his clothing turn black as he does so. Robert Hirsch does an excellent job in thirteen roles (I wish I could spot them all); I especially like his performance as a German woman dressed as a man in hopes of getting herself a share of the fortune. Again, it would have been better if I had seen it with English subtitles, but at least this was one of the cases where making the effort paid off.