Inn Trouble


Claude Autant-Lara’s L’AUBERGE ROUGE is unrelated to Jean Epstein’s earlier film of the same name. Now that we’ve got that sorted out, you can head over to The Forgotten and see what the fuss is about. Upon seeing the Autant-Lara, Fiona immediately added it to her favourite films list. We’re also dying to learn anything we can about the anonymous actor cast as the movie’s monkey.

The film is a variant on the Sawney Bean legend, and apparently based on a true case of serial-killing innkeepers in France. The comedy is black, the snowscapes are white, and Fernandel is looking a little off-colour.

8 Responses to “Inn Trouble”

  1. david wingrove Says:

    I’ve seen relatively little Autant-Lara, having been put off by his far right-wing politics later in life. However, MARGUERITE DE LA NUIT is a flat-out masterpiece (the most wondrous stylised fantasy of the 50s, after TALES OF HOFFMANN) so I do feel a need to see more. Will add this one to the list…

  2. I haven’t seen this for ten years but that monkey does brand the brain. After your piece, I read around on a variety of French movie boards but no-one seems to know how it was done; the consensus was a dwarf actor, but that wasn’t based on any behind-the-scenes insights. My favourite Autant-Lara is the conventional choice, La Traversée de Paris, but this is a close second.

  3. One would think that Auntant-Lara’s memoir would give the straight dope on his monkey player, but he was probably one of those perverse old duffers who never write about their work — I can imagine him skipping from his days as a designer for L’Herbier straight into a tract about immigration.

    Pigs Across Paris has been on my to-see list for a while…

  4. I assume you read Adrian Curry’s recent piece on the various posters for that film?

    I’ve only read a review of Autant-Lara’s autobio, which suggests that you are on the money. The reviewer commented that by the end of volume two he’d only reached 1932 in terms of career overview but had expended countless words on various gripes, cinematic and extra-cinematic. Bizarrely enough, our local library apparently has a copy.

  5. No, I missed the Curry piece. Thanks for the heads-up — it’s wonderful!

    If you get a chance to check the index of the Autant-Lara…

    He was apparently a man of many gripes. He appears, in white shock wig, in a BBC doc on Carne, but his defense of Carne against the criticisms of Cahiers turns swiftly into a plea that he himself should be given more work. “I’ve still got plenty of ideas.” One does feel for him, a bit.

    In Brownlow’s CInema Europe: The Other Hollywood, he talks about his early widescreen experiments for Pathe-Natan, and stays on topic. He was still bitter about it, of course.

  6. I’ll see what I can do. His actual works of memoir seem only to extend to around 1933, but there might be some jumping around. He certainly was embittered — not always with as much reason as might be presumed, since Cahiers, for instance, weren’t nearly as harsh on him as some believe, at least in print.

    Someone in the local library must have been a fan — they have a French-language bio of him along with the memoir.

  7. Oh, check that too! We MUST find out.

  8. […] thought with L’AUBERGE ROUGE, your basic hilarious masterpiece, that I’d finally warmed to Fernandel, he of the equine […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: