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3.7
83 Ratings

The Italian Straw Hat

Un chapeau de paille d'Italie

Directed by René Clair
France, Germany, 1928
Comedy, Silent

Synopsis

On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard’s horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Fadinard has to find the very same rare hat to avoid her dishonor. This will greatly disturb his own marriage.

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The Italian Straw Hat Directed by René Clair

Critics reviews

Those awful hats, as Griffith would say, just one of them is enough to unbalance the bourgeoisie’s inane carrousel, much to René Clair’s delight… A bit of misinterpreted pantomime rippling through a congregation, the plumed giantess at the hat shop, the subtle flash when a frantic story synchs up with a cuckold’s discovery: One curlicue after another of comedic expressiveness.
June 06, 2016
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Clair’s silent masterpiece was The Italian Straw Hat, based on a 19th-century boulevard farce by Eugène Labiche. Its technical precision, satirical wit, and balletic high spirits delighted the critics, and the philosopher Henri Bergson, high priest of the theory of comedy, reckoned it a near-perfect film.
July 01, 2015
Too bad Clair didn’t remake this as a Talkie: his genius for drollery is there but the film’s crying out for dialogue, partly because the farcical plot doesn’t have much physical momentum – characters go from place to place but it’s mostly intercutting, and most of it depends on verbal persuasion and/or character quirks, none of which plays to the strengths of Silent movies.
April 11, 2015
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