Friday, January 02, 2015

Movie review - "Naughty Girl" (1956) ***

Really fun, silly French musical comedy starring Brigitte Bardot which was actually more popular at the box office than And God Created Woman. It's not hard to see why - the other film is more for adults and this is more a family picture, the sort of thing you could easily imagine Debbie Reynolds starring in at MGM or Sonja Henie in one of her films.

The plot involves a lot of set up but basically Brigitte's dad runs a nightclub and he asks singer Jean Bretonniere to look after his little girl while he tries to find out who is running at forgery operation out of his nightclub. Cue lots of cute antics with Brigitte running havoc - setting fire, clashing with Bretonniere's butler, winding up in jail and then on stage doing a number, fighting off gangsters, and it winds up with a big brawl at the nightclub.

It's formulaic and silly, but is a lot of fun. It's in colour and CinemaScope and the production values are high. Bretonniere isn't much of a lead and his romance with Bardot is underdeveloped but the support cast includes people like Francoise Fabian (the financee) and Mischa Auer. Brigitte is in terrific form, running around and pouting, getting into mischief; there's a scene where she wears a bikini which feels shoe horned in, but the dream sequence feels like a more organic way (if that makes sense) to justify a whole bunch of costume changes.

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