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  •  LE DIABLE BOITEUX (The Devil with a limp), by Sacha Guitry - 1948

The Talleyrand couple
(Lara Marconi et Sacha Guitry)
© Keystone / BIFI
(by kind permission of Madame Jacqueline Aubart)

Napoleon (Émile Drain)
and Talleyrand (Sacha Guitry)
© Keystone / BIFI
(by kind permission of Madame Jacqueline Aubart)

 Country : France

 Medium : Black and white

 Duration : 138'

 Video : Canal+ Vidéo - 1993

 Production : Union Cinématographique Lyonnaise

 Scenario : Sacha Guitry

 Screenplay : Sacha Guitry

 Music : Louis Beydts

 Director of photography : André Garimond

 Plot : Sacha Guitry used Talleyrand's nickname 'the Devil with a limp' as the starting point for a film on the first Eurocrat and his life full of ups and downs, conspiracies and betrayals of every sort. From the Ancien Régime by whom Talleyrand was elevated to Bishop of Autun up to the reign of Louis-Philippe when he negotiated the peace with Britain, the path of this most famous political opportunist was played to the music of infidelity and the thirst for power. Here we see the gentle art of getting what you want without compromising your political career.

 Cast : Émile Drain (Napoleon) ; Sacha Guitry (Talleyrand) ; Lana Marconi (Madame Talleyrand) ; Jeanne Fusier-Gir ; Jacques Varennes ; Pauline Carton ; Robert Hossein

 Extract : « Talleyrand. - As for conspirators, you have always been your worst enemy. [...]
Napoleon. - You, Talleyrand, are a turd in silk hose !
Talleyrand. - Oh dear. What a pity that such a great man should have such poor manners ! »

 Review : Talleyrand's grand passions (money, women and power, ...) are filmed with outstanding cinematic finesse. The famous balls, the intrigues and the doubtful connections are played by Sacha Guitry with such conviction that it is hard to separate the actor from the role. By far the most aristocratic evocation of Napoleonic history in the whole filmography.



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