Léonce Perret

Prod.: Gaumont; 35mm. L.: 1150 m. D.: 54’ a 18 f/s.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Qui? is a police story that follows the rules of its era, which were much less careful about the logic and consistency of the inquiry than films today. At a certain point, one of the suspects is provided with an alibi, which is entirely correct in the script. However, in the film we see something completely different and utterly inconsistent, that takes all value away from the alibi. It was therefore necessary to find a way out. The case is quite interesting. A boy is suspected of murder; the script reads: “he can prove that at that time he was on active military duty in a town far away, so he has an alibi”. In the film though, they decided to add a fun scene, with beautiful imagery, in which the boy (who was an artist) says, “no, I was at Gaumont Palace performing my stage number”, and he hands over a flyer for Gaumont Palace that reads “a film by Monsieur Léonce Perret”. The fact that he was on stage does not provide him with an alibi for the night of the crime: it was therefore necessary to come up with something ingenious during the restoration to make the trick seem logical and consistent with the story. Here is our stratagem: the boy was actually on stage at Gaumont Palace during the specified time period, while the text of a letter – whose content is not revealed in the script – testifies that after the show the artist went to Chat Noir, not far from Gaumont, where he spent the evening with the Gaumont Palace orchestra director. And in the end his alibi holds up.

Claudine Kaufmann, in Léonce Perret, edited by Bernard Bastide and Jean A. Gili, AFRHC/ Cineteca di Bologna, 2003

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Restored in 2003 from safety positive