The Grangier of the day

Histoire de chanter



A pseudo-musical with an implausible and delicious storyline. Grangier in his prime.


Gilles Grangier's trademark? It could be found in the opening tracking shot of Histoire de chanter, going up a long line of impatient young women who are being ushered into a mysterious building. The filmmaker was fond of this dynamic camera movement. In this case, one might think that these women are anticipating an exceptional sale - the shortages of the Occupation are not quite yet a memory - or perhaps queuing to audition for a film, but no, they are burning to meet the idol who is all the rage, Gino Fabretti, the seductive tenor with an alluring crooning voice... Gino (played by Luis Mariano) is at the summit of his popularity, but will soon become the victim of a (humorous) plot cooked up by Noël Roquevert, who is brilliant in the role of a jealous surgeon. The singer will – literally - go in pursuit of his voice.


Histoire-de-chanterHistoire de chanter, 1947

Histoire de chanter belongs to Gilles Grangier's first period, when he was still confined to comedy - often musical - he had already directed Georges Guétary twice. Here, as a comic counterpoint to the golden-voiced troubadour, Julein Carette's glibness as a lovestruck grocery deliveryman works wonders (Grangier had once considered Bourvil, who was also at the beginning of his career). And the script by the excellent comedian Cami (whose talent Chaplin had praised) flirts with the fantastic, giving us an operetta version of The Hands of Orlac. Thanks to the plot’s extravagance, non-marinists can also enjoy the film. Worth noting is a - static - staging of Rigoletto at the Opéra of Nice (whose baritone is quite irresistible). It is amusing because we are at an era when Mariano will definitively turn his back on opera, preferring Francis Lopez to Verdi. All in the name of his voice, no doubt…

Aurélien Ferenczi




Histoire de chanter by Gilles Grangier (1947, 1h35) Restauration SND

Lumière Terreaux Fri15 7:30pm | Pathé Bellecour Sat16 7pm


Categories: Lecture Zen