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  • Eclipse Series 22: Presenting Sacha Guitry (The Story of a Cheat / The Pearls of the Crown / Desire / Quadrille) (The Criterion Collection)
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Eclipse Series 22: Presenting Sacha Guitry (The Story of a Cheat / The Pearls of the Crown / Desire / Quadrille) (The Criterion Collection)

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Frequently Bought Together

Eclipse Series 22: Presenting Sacha Guitry (The Story of a Cheat / The Pearls of the Crown / Desire / Quadrille) (The Criterion Collection) + Eclipse 36: Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures: The Man in Grey, Madonna of the Seven Moons, The Wicked Lady (Criterion Collection) + Eclipse Series 34: Jean Gremillon During the Occupation (Remorques, Lumiere d'ete, Le ciel est a vous) (Criterion Collection)
Price for all three: $94.45

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sacha Guitry, Jacqueline Delubac
  • Directors: Sacha Guitry
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 378 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B003ICZW82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,452 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eclipse Series 22: Presenting Sacha Guitry (The Story of a Cheat / The Pearls of the Crown / Desire / Quadrille) (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Sacha Guitry was once a household name. Something of a Gallic counterpart to Nöel Coward, this disarming, multitalented artist served up some of 1930s French cinema’s tastiest dishes. The son of a beloved theater actor, Guitry was devoted to the footlights, first turning to the silver screen as a way of bringing his plays to a wider audience. His films were anything but stage-bound, however: often the director, writer, and star of his popular movies, Guitry brought a witty inventiveness to the cinema and deployed radical tactics with such aplomb and control that he’s considered one of the medium’s first “complete auteurs.” With these four films, American audiences can finally sample Guitry’s creative, comic confections.

THE STORY OF A CHEAT (Le roman d’un tricheur) Considered Sacha Guitry’s masterpiece, this fleet, witty picaresque about a gambler and petty thief is a whimsical delight. Guitry himself stars as the “tricheur” looking back fondly on a life of crime, which he narrates with an effervescence matched by his clever editing and cinematography. With its rapid storytelling and inventive use of voice-over, The Story of a Cheat’s style has influenced filmmakers from Orson Welles to François Truffaut. 1936

THE PEARLS OF THE CROWN (Les perles de la couronne) Sacha Guitry plays four roles—including King Francis I and Napoleon—in this multilingual whirlwind of pageantry that investigates the fate of three pearls missing from the royal crown of England. Guitry’s first script written directly for the screen rockets through four centuries of European history with imaginative, winking irreverence.

DÉSIRÉ Sacha Guitry exchanges his usual top hat for a uniform in Désiré, in which he plays a cavalier valet embroiled in an awkward flirtation with his new employer (played by the actor-director’s real-life wife, Jacqueline Delubac), who is involved with a stuffy politician. A carefree class farce filled with memorable supporting characters, Désiré blurs the line between upstairs and downstairs.

QUADRILLE A sparkling four-way affair overflowing with dialogue that showcases writer-director Sacha Guitry’s wit, Quadrille stars Guitry as a magazine editor whose longtime girlfriend (whom he hopes to make his fiancée) is uncontrollably drawn to a handsome American movie star. Meanwhile, a discerning reporter (Jacqueline Delubac) watches from the sidelines with amusement and provides the final corner of this romantic rectangle.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Faulk on August 1, 2010
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A tyro of French stage and screen as writer, actor, and director, Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) is 50-ish and beefy in these films. He is often disposed to speak flatly and rapidly at great length, and I had the impression of a rusty buzzsaw cutting planks off a log, in a timbre associated with that of Harvey Fierstein. All four pics have good parts for his third wife, Jacqueline Delubac (married 1935-1939), bedecked in chic Parisian outfits and makeup (surprisngly heavy eyebrows). Now onto the films in My Order of Ascending Merit:

DE'SIRE', 1937, 97 min

At well-to-do Jacqueline Delubac's domicile, De'sire' (Guitry) applies for the valet position. She checks his reference with his former female employer, who implies that De'sire' is sexually aggressive--which puts Jacqueline off, but De'sire' with his overwhelming mouth persuades her to hire him. The other household staff comprise maid Arletty and cook Pauline Carton. All travel to the country house, where Jacqueline continues her affair with a balding minister, but unfortunately talks in her sleep about the sexual threat of De'sire'. The household is thrown into disarray, finally evoking a buzzsaw monologue from De'sire'.

QUADRILLE, 1938, 95 min

Newspaper tycoon Guitry has had a long affair with stage actress Gaby Morlay (1893-1964), and may finally pop the question of marriage. But American movie star Georges Grey (1911-1954) descends upon Paris like morning sunshine and, by gosh, promptly seduces Gaby. The aftermath is a very long verbal exchange between Guitry and Gaby. Star newspaper reporter Jacqueline Delubac tries to intercede to good effect, and Guitry is attracted to her, and vice versa. As complication, the American movie star has to leave Paris.
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