The inimitable Michel Simon stars as Baleydier, a dishevelled dimwit who works as a hairdresser's assistant. Through an incredible bit of dumb luck, Baleydier wins a contest which assures him a role in an upcoming motion picture. Given his choice of storylines, our hero is talked into playing a Roman emperor by has-been director Petrequin (Pierre Pradier). Petrequin is put in charge of Baleydier's film debut, whereupon the two misfits reduced the studio to a chaotic shambles. Disciples of director Abel Gance might be interested to know that the vainglorious Petrequin was patterned after Gance, who was not held in as high esteem in 1932 as he would be 40 years later. A neat and incisive satire of the French film industry, Baleydier might be worth reviving today.
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