Gaby Morlay

  • Marcel L’Herbier – Entente cordiale (1939)

    The history of the Entente Cordiale in the big and small picture, from 1898, when a French officer occupied the village of Fashoda, Sudan to 8 April 1904, when a series or agreements marking the rapprochement between England and France were signed. To this turnaround in public opinion corresponds a parallel evolution in the intimate feelings of two families, one English and the other French which will result in the French heir marrying the English daughter.
    —Guy BellingerRead More »

  • Marcel L’Herbier – Le bonheur (1935)


    ‘Clara Stuart, star of music hall and cinema, arrives in Paris, to great public acclaim. She has everything – fame, wealth, and – through her aristocratic husband – a title. Hence, whilst she is worshipped by the masses, she is the object of hatred for Philippe Lutcher, am impoverished artist and notable anarchist. Lutcher shoots Clara Stuart after she gives a public recital, but he cannot bring himself to kill her. At his subsequent trial, the star attempts to plead in her assailant’s favour, but Lutcher rejects her support…’
    – Films deFranceRead More »

  • Jacqueline Audry – Gigi (1949)

    Daniele Delorme is a turn-of-the-century teenage courtesan-in-training in the French romantic comedy Gigi (1948). Instructed by her beloved grandmother Yvonne de Bray (Mamita) and glamorous courtesan aunt Gaby Morlay (Alicia) in the art of using her feminine wiles, 16-year-old Gigi learns how to select a man’s cigar, determine the value of the various jewels she will be given by her rich lovers, chew her meat while continuing to carry on a conversation and other priceless tidbits in the feminine arsenal of seduction.Read More »

  • Jean Grémillon – L’amour d’une femme AKA The Love of a Woman (1953)

    Marie Prieur, a young doctor, decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. Little by little she manages to be accepted by the population. One day she meets André Lorenzi, a handsome engineer, and it is love at first sight. Life is wonderful for a while but André wants to marry her only if she remains at home. Despite her strong feelings for André, Marie refuses to give up her vocation and the two lovers part. Marie finds herself alone, with a broken heart.Read More »

  • Christian-Jaque – Un revenant (1946)


    A full decade ahead of the New Wavelet Christian Jacque, Louis Jouvet and a belle equipe were showing the Godards and Truffauts how the Big Boys do it and neither Godard nor Truffaut ever made anything even remotely as good as this and Godard never will. It all comes together like clockwork from Henri Jeanson’s caustic script, written at times with a quill dipped in vitriol, to Christian Jaque’s perfect direction which coaxes performances close to perfection from Louis Jouvet on down. Ludmilla Tcherina is especially effective in her very first film which gives her lots of chances to remind us that she was first and foremost a great ballerina and Francois Perier shines as the callow youth besotted with her to the point of attempted suicide. Louis Seigner was still popping up fairly regularly in films at this time (1946) and etches a standout portrait of a ruthless businessman prepared to sacrifice his son on the altar of Mammon and let us not forget Marguerite Moreno adding yet another unforgettable portrait to her gallery of grotesques.Read More »

  • Viktor Tourjansky – La Peur AKA Vertige d’un soir AKA Fear (1936)



    Gaby Morlay is Irène, the wife of a famous and wealthy lawyer (Charles Vanel), who falls briefly for a young and handsome pianist (Georges Rigaud) while on vacations on the French Riviera. When she comes back to her married life in Paris, she falls prey to a blackmailer, the pianist’s jealous former mistress, while her husband’s behavior becomes more and more unpredictable… Charles Vanel is as usually very good as the betrayed and yet not so innocent husband, a part he has played often. Garboesque Gaby Morlay is less convincing (more theatrical) as his wife. I guess there is nothing to expect from this movie but its premise, which is a melodrama in the French pre-war upper bourgeoisie, with a set of good actors of that time (a special mention to Suzy Prim as the “mistress”, charmingly vulgar, a real Parisian bird), leading men in tuxedos and ladies dressed in lamé gowns and furs. Read More »

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