Phaedra hits the Côte d'Azur in this tale of a hotel proprietor (Rosay, the wife of the director) in love with her foster child, who has grown up to be a self-pitying gambling addict. A cleverly contrived darkening of mood extends from the comic opening, in which casino staff are briefed on how to handle suicides, to the despairing finale in which Rosay sets out to win a fortune for her beloved, wayward boy. The world of gambling and petty crooks and the comings and goings in the happily humming little hotel are nicely counterpointed; and Arletty, with one scene only, is clearly on an unstoppable course for stardom. Feyder's detached, precisely detailed style results in a film that essentially has hardly dated at all.
Cast and crew
Jacques Feyder, Charles Spaak