The lame devil (movie)

The lame devil is a French film directed by Sacha Guitry , adapted from his piece Talleyrand (1948, adapted from the original script of the film refused by censorship), released in 1948 .


This is the filmed biography of Prince Talleyrand , Bishop of Autun, who served France from the Old Regime to the July Monarchy through the Directory , the Consulate , the First Empire and the Restoration .

Technical sheet

  • Title: The lame devil
  • Director: Sacha Guitry
  • Scenario, adaptation and dialogues: Sacha Guitry, after his piece Talleyrand
  • Photography: Nicolas Toporkoff
  • Camera operator: Marcel Franchi
  • Sets: René Renoux
  • Sound: Jean Rieul
  • Music: Louis Beydts
  • Editing: Jeannette Berton
  • Assistant Director: François Gir , Jeanne Etiévant
  • Production Manager: Jean Mugeli
  • Production Company: Union Cinématographique Lyonnaise (UCIL)
  • Country of origin: France
  • Shooting: from February 14 to March 3, 1948
  • Format: black and white – 1.37: 1 – mono – 35mm
  • Genre: Historical Movie
  • Duration: 125 minutes
  • Release date :
    • France –


  • Sacha Guitry : Charles Maurice of Talleyrand-Périgord
  • Lana Marconi : Catherine Grand, Princess of Talleyrand-Périgord
  • Jeanne Fusier-Gir : Marie-Thérèse Champignon, the conspirator
  • Pauline Carton : the chiromancer
  • Renée Devillers : The Duchess of Dino
  • Catherine Fonteney : the princess of Chalais
  • Maurice Schutz : Voltaire
  • Émile Drain : Napoleon I er and a lackey
  • Henry Laverne : Louis XVIII and a lackey
  • Maurice Teynac : Charles X and a lackey
  • Philippe Richard : Louis-Philippe I st and a lackey
  • Georges Gray : General Caulaincourt
  • José Noguero : the Duke of San Carlos (en)
  • Howard Vernon : Lord Palmerston
  • Bernard Dheran : Almaviva (from the Barber of Seville )
  • Jean Piat : Figaro (from the Barber of Seville )
  • André Brunot : Bartholo (from the Barber of Seville )
  • Denis d’Inès : Don Basile (from the Barber of Seville )
  • José Torres : Don Juan of Azcona
  • Georges Spanelly : the count of Montrond
  • Robert Dartois : the Count of Remusat
  • Maurice Escande : Prince Metternich
  • Pierre Bertin : Baron Nesselrode
  • Jean Debucourt : Baron Humboldt
  • Roger Gaillard : Lord Castelreagh
  • André Randall : Lord Gray
  • Jacques Varennes : General de La Fayette
  • Pierre Lecoq: Count Roederer
  • Robert Seller : Prince of Polignac
  • Robert Favart : Father Dupanloup
  • Yvonne Hébert : the lady of company
  • Sophie Mallet : the maid
  • Jane Daury : a Spanish girl
  • Françoise Engel : Rosine
  • Anne Campion : Pauline Dino
  • Léon Walther : Dr. Cruveilhier
  • Georges Rivière : the Marquis de La Tour de Bournac
  • Michel Lemoine : Prince of Asturias (future Ferdinand VII )
  • Michel Nastorg : a lackey
  • Jean-Claude Briet : a lackey
  • Max Dejean : a policeman
  • Robert Hossein : a guest in white
  • Renée Bouzy
  • Georges Bréhat
  • Daniel Ceccaldi
  • Dominique Davray
  • Philippe Derevel
  • Simone Logeart

Around the film

The piece from which the film was shot was mounted the same year in a more or less similar distribution (the film nevertheless includes many characters absent from the play). The intentions and the life of the author often explain a work, it is the case with the piece of Guitry The lame Devil . And, as the author would say, let’s start at the beginning and thus with the preface to the book:

“Talleyrand trotted me by the head” limping “for many years already. He was in Histoires de France , we still saw him in Désirée Clary , finally, in BérangerLucien Guitry revived it. Now, it occurred to me that at the time when, precisely, a man of his prodigious and supple intelligence has failed us so much, it would be expedient to present some sketches, in the manner of those whom we have takes on the spot. Moreover, and in the same spirit, it seemed to me that it was at least spicy to evoke today the memory of a French minister who knew how to make himself useful “then became necessary” before to be indispensable to the eyes of the four sovereigns who succeeded each other on the throne of France during the fifty years of his reign. Because it was the monarchs and the regimes too who passed but, he, not. Finally, it is always pleasant to rehabilitate “to tempt him, at least” an illustrious personage that his time has vilified.
Oscar Wilde in this respect was not mistaken when he said: “Nations, like families, have great men only in spite of themselves”.
The cinema offered me such possibilities that, from the Talleyrand of which I dreamed, I made a film. The synopsis – or summary – was presented to censorship. Censorship did not give us a visa. The reasons given to me were of an almost unimaginable coquetry. Replicas were indicated to me in blue pencil as likely to provoke demonstrations! IV eThe Republic could not, however, feel threatened by those who were Talleyrand himself or the Emperor Napoleon, who were Louis XVIII or the Duke of Orleans! They are found in this book – in great numbers – and it is mischievous that I neglected to put them in quotation marks. That we have fun to find them. Faced with this refusal of censorship, I immediately “shot” my film a play “contrary to the usual” and that I apologize for talking about it, if I speak “the events that occurred every night had no political meaning “and they went to my heart. (I do not take for negligible the whistle that greeted me at my entrance on the evening of the General Rehearsal.On the contrary.This single whistle proves excellently, indeed, that there were not two whistles). The censorship visa was then granted to me, without any good grace, moreover. And as for the errors of places or dates that I could make, that one does not take the trouble to announce them to me: “they are wanted”. “

All biography begins with the birth of the character and it does not escape the biographical film of Guitry, The lame Devil , where we hear in voice over : “February 2, 1754, was born in Paris, at 4, rue Garancière, the greatest diplomat who probably existed: Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord ” . To this voice of the author is added the vision of 4, rue Garancière in 1948. The message of Guitry is clear: “You, Parisians, you pass in front of every day and you forgot … The story is part of your everyday life … ”

Leave a comment