A lost film – exquisitely restored!
“Tall, coffee skin, ebony eyes, legs of paradise, a smile to end all smiles.” — Pablo Picasso
“[the] most sensational woman anybody ever saw. Or ever will.” – Ernest Hemingway
Born into poverty, Josephine Baker rose from a childhood living in a St. Louis slum to the toast of France – captivating audiences through stage, recordings and motion pictures, and you’ll get to see why in “The French Way.”
It’s a farcical romantic-comedy set in contemporary WWII France, about young lovers forbidden to marry by their respective families. Baker, as “Zazu,” the owner of a nightclub, inherits a job restoring harmony between the two families and allowing the young lovers to se marier. A mélange of French character actors add to the fun, but when Josephine’s on the screen she is as Ernest Hemingway once said, “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”
“The French Way” filmed in 1940 — literally amidst bombing raids – released in France in 1945, and briefly shown in the USA in 1952 where the order of some scenes was changed and about 2-3 minutes of “dramatic” footage was cut. In all other respects, it is virtually complete as originally released.
Note: In real life Josephine Baker aided the French Resistance and was awarded, among other honors, the Croix de guerre by the French military.
Restoration by Jeff Joseph/SabuCat
French dialogue with English subtitles
France 1945 | 74 mins. | B&W | 1.37:1