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Holiday for Henrietta

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Holiday for Henrietta
La fete a henriette poster.jpg
Directed byJulien Duvivier
Written byJulien Duvivier
Henri Jeanson
Produced byJosé Bosch
Georges Lourau
Arys Nissotti
Pierre O'Connell
StarringDany Robin
Michel Auclair
Hildegard Knef
CinematographyRoger Hubert
Edited byMarthe Poncin
Music byGeorges Auric
Regina Films
Distributed byCinédis
Release date
17 December 1952
Running time
118 minutes

Holiday for Henrietta (French: La fête à Henriette) is a 1952 French comedy film directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Dany Robin, Michel Auclair, and Hildegard Knef.[1] It was shot at the Billancourt Studios and on location around Paris including at the Gaumont-Palace cinema. The film's sets were designed by the art director Jean d'Eaubonne. Holiday for Henrietta was remade in English as the 1964 film Paris When It Sizzles, starring William Holden and Audrey Hepburn,[2] which also featured d'Eaubonne as art director.

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**** films present a film by ????? An original screenplay by ????? <i>No, no. Stop the music!</i> <i>This music hasn't been written yet.</i> <i>The script isn't written either.</i> <i>The film hasn't been shot yet. It's all left to do.</i> <i>Scenario, script, sets, music, distribution.</i> <i>It will be a year before you see this film.</i> <i>Why? Simply because...</i> The censors rejected our script... unanimously! The producers just called. All that work for nothing! Scandalous! They don't care about genius... or about free speech! The only right we have is to fight for our rights! Damned morality! So, we're not leaving? I really didn't think they would approve our script. - Wasn't it a good story? - It posed too many problems. What about the prostitute who did miracles on the street? - Wasn't that great? - Yes. But the Bishop and the schoolgirl must have shocked the censors. And the General becoming a conscientious objector. It was scandalous. - So why did we write it? - I wanted to express myself. Death to cops! I'm expressing myself too. Especially since they cut my awesome reply by the Bishop. I'll say it again... Death to cops! It's not their fault. - What will we do now? - Another scenario. With what? We don't have any characters, no settings, no subjects. What can we write about? I'm demoralized. We worked so well together these months, such harmony. Don't exaggerate. Aren't we on the same wavelength with the exact same ideas? Your ideas are silly. - You don't even think. - Don't start fighting again! So tell me what idea of mine is floating in your little head? There's nothing in the paper! They say stories are everywhere. You just don't notice them. An unemployed man was arrested for stealing a bicycle to replace his which had been stolen. He was caught with his 8-year-old son. Fascinating! At a town meeting yesterday in a small border town, the communist mayor and the priest, old childhood friends, fought over who would carry the Virgin statue in the parade, the Reds or the Children of Mary? The mayor and priest came to blows. Only weak stories. It's pathetic! We'll have to invent our story. What if we simply told a love story? - Between two women? - Two women? - Two men? - Idiot! - Who then? - A man and a woman. Yes, that might work. We could set it in the country, in Montluçon. - No, in Paris. - Paris? Yes... the morgue, the catacombs, the cemetery, the cabaret... - What characters though? - Ordinary ones. - Right, mediocre characters. - No, humble ones. Wait, I could imagine a tall blond girl... Swedish. I see her now! <i>She lives on the left bank with a Japanese poet, but she's sad.</i> <i>Or maybe a petite brunette, a small-timer,</i> <i>who runs a scam near The Bastille, pretending to get hit by cars.</i> <i>A con girl in Paris!</i> <i>The tricks they use to fool men!</i> Not horrible people, humble ones! Okay, we'll hit them with a bang and hook them from the start! A "swing" film! <i>The Concord...</i> <i>The Hotel Crillon...</i> <i>No... Place Vendôme, at The Ritz.</i> <i>A sumptuous suite...</i> <i>very cosmopolitan and luxuriously decorated.</i> <i>A strangely beautiful creature, and blond…</i> <i>- And Swedish. - Silence!</i> You're here with the General, yes or no? It's true! Parker is in the elevator. He's coming up. <i>Pan to the door.</i> <i>Someone knocks.</i> <i>What a beginning! What suspense!</i> - Then what? - We have to figure that out. Nicole? A girl showing her thighs, a whipping... it's pornography. You're confusing pornography and eroticism, my dear. - No. - What, no? Imagine we're at a sidewalk cafe on <i>Rue Royale</i>. <i>People watching.</i> <i>Eventually we'll see an interesting girl.</i> Miss! Excuse me, Miss! We just made a bet. Do you have a job? Yes, in fashion. See? - <i>Rue de la Paix</i>? - No, <i>Ave. Matignon</i>. - You must be an apprentice. - With those legs? No, I'm a skilled worker. Our heroine will work in fashion. - Unskilled and orphaned. - Orphaned? Orphans always pay off big. No orphans this time! Now our hero… <i>How about a professional swimmer?</i> <i>Or a postman... that one!</i> <i>No, no, no… Couture!</i> <i>Organdy, tutu, waltz! A ballet dancer... This one!</i> No. Let's make him a photo-journalist. - For a daily paper! - No, for a weekly. Let's call him Robert. Their adventure will span one day, but an extraordinary day... - A holiday. - Fashion... St. Catherine's day! - No, St. Henrietta's. - Why not St. Ernestine's? Because St. Henrietta's is on the 14th of July. We're going to show a sentimental 14th of July for a Parisian girl. Yeah, and we'll call it <i>Holiday for Henrietta</i>. How amusing! Sometimes you have good ideas in spite of yourself. That's a charming title. It makes me feel nostalgic. - That's the title! - I'd prefer <i>Death to Cops</i>, but... As for Henrietta, she'll be a nice girl, attractive... witty... - a bit naive. - Wait, I've got it. It's the evening of July 13th. She just got off work.


While urgently trying to develop a screenplay for a new film, two screenwriters, the downbeat Crèmieux and the optimist Seignier, create contradictory storylines as they argue, and as each takes turns in taking the narrative forward, they force the lead characters Henriette et Maurice into weird situations. The film switches back and forth between the writers at home and the film as it develops according to their ideas.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Crisp p.243


  • Crisp, Colin. French Cinema—A Critical Filmography: Volume 2, 1940–1958. Indiana University Press, 2015.

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This page was last edited on 29 April 2023, at 15:18
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