Children of Paradise, a three-hour film set in the Parisian theater scene of the 1820s, is often heralded as the French answer to Gone With the Wind. But no, Scarlett O’Hara’s majestic breakdowns don’t even come close to the level of grandiosity represented in the 1945 French flick. Gone With the Wind was set in the Civil War era, but Children of Paradise was actually filmed during World War II. And as the German occupation of France raged, actors worked on damaged sets where props and supplies were rationed. Filming was put on hold for months after Nazis declared the producer “remotely” Jewish. And the starving extras, many of whom were undercover resistance agents posing as actors, would devour food spreads in seconds. Yet somehow an elaborate escapist production about a courtesan woman and her four lovers came to fruition and has for years delighted audiences that probably have no idea the actors involved are certified major badasses.
Because you know better, you’ll be especially appreciative of the screening of the classic period film.
Coral Gables Art Cinema screens the newly restored version of the film in 2k Digital Cinema Projection.
May 18-24, 5:30 p.m., 2012