THE FRENCH WAY REVIEWED
“The French Way” was a film about families fighting over their kids getting married. Released in France in 1940, the film didn’t arrive in America until 1952. World War II had a lot to do with it, alongside other things. The film is a screwball comedy that was meant to be a Josephine Baker vehicle. Unfortunately, Baker exists as a third wheel that tries to keep the kids together in spite of their parents. The role of Zazu plays to her strengths without really taxing her.
Compared to the other works in her performance history, this is incredibly lesser Baker. Still, it’s nice to see such a pioneering talent perform in a mainstream film. The real feat here is the restoration work that went into saving the original cut of this film. While the American cut is widely more available, the elements to make for a longer true-to-form presentation were in the wild. I’m rapidly becoming a fan of Sprocket Vault and SabuCat’s work.
Film restoration remains incredibly important, even as the vast majority of film fans are losing sight of the physical in lieu of streaming. These elements need to be saved for future tech leaps to be possible. Good work all around.
- 1.37:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 2.0