It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don't care much for his wife Sylvaine's second husband ...
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William A. Wellman
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It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don't care much for his wife Sylvaine's second husband Gustave with whom she has recently had a child. Sylvaine's friends recommend that she use a new hairdresser, Leopold Trebel. However, when this womanizing coiffeur arrives, he turns out to be Adolphe suffering from amnesia. A doctor restores his memory using hypnosis but in the process wipes out everything that has happened to him over the last five years. Adolphe thinks he has been unconscious for only a few hours and the doctor tries to keep the truth from him thinking the shock could kill him. This becomes even more difficult as Leopold's wife, with whom he has had two sets of twins, shows up and insists he is Leopold. Gustave finally tells Adolphe/Leopold the truth and he is left with the decision of which man and in which family he wants to be. Written by
Brian Cady <email@example.com>
This entertaining and racy early talkie(1930) is a farce about a man with amnesia who thinks he is a chic hairdresser. He is hired to do the hair of a wealthy Paris matron, who it turns out is his actual wife who has since remarried, assuming her husband had been killed. The hairdresser's lost memory is easily recovered in an absurd hypnosis and he demands the restoration of his wife from her new husband. The movie has loads of gay jokes as the hairdresser/ husband played by Frank Fay camps up the hairdresser persona to differentiate himself from the personality of the husband.There are lines like- "I may be a hairdresser but that doesn't mean I hold men's hands" And when he asks what manner of person was he as the hairdresser, he is told, "You were gay, a bit dandified" This is the earliest use of the word gay, with its somewhat current meaning, in the movies, that I can recall, predating "Bringing Up Baby"'s famous line("I went gay all of a sudden") by eight years. There is also a farcical moment when the hairdressers new wife(who makes a belated and not too plausible appearance) catches her husband in bed with what she expects is another woman. She snatches off the covers and exposes her husband with a man. She wails,"What kind of house is this?" There are many entertaining moments with Lilyan Tashman as an aggressive family friend who openly lusts for the hairdresser and Beryl Mercer as the cook who worships her former "Master". The ending is less than satisfying but it is all so silly that it doesn't really matter. Frank Fay does well as the effeminate hairdresser but is less convincing as the rejected husband. He also sings, not very well, a pretty tune that the studio must have been plugging. Worth catching.
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