The Louis Jourdan Website - La Comédie du Bonheur
English title: Comedy of Happiness
Director: Marcel L'Herbier
Writers: Gaetano Campanile-Mancini (Italian screenplay), André Cerf (French screenplay), Fernand Noziere (French translation), Jean Cocteau (dialogue) Nicolas Evreinoff (play)
filmed at Scalera Studios, Rome
Other cast members: Michel Simon, Ramon Novarro, Jacqueline Delubac, Micheline Presle
A joint French-Italian production, released first in Italy at the end of 1940 and in France in the summer of 1942, LA COMEDIE DU BONHEUR was based on Russian dramatist Nicholas Everinoff's play “Samoe glavnoe” (with new dialogue by Jean Cocteau) in which an escapee from an insane asylum takes residence in a boarding house, and to cheer his fellow lodgers, he stages a musical production of Quo Vadis, and promotes his theories about life being a stage. An interesting concept, as Everinoff is often credited as one of the founders of psycho-drama.
Filmed in Rome, and set during Mardi Gras celebrations, the film featured an international superstar of the day, Ramon Novarro, whose spectacular Hollywood career had fizzled out at the end of the 1930s.
Louis Jourdan's first real movie (as LE CORSAIRE was, in fact, no more than a random jumble consisting of less than a half hour of unedited footage), ECCO LA FELICITA (title of the original release in Italy) found him venturing abroad for filming, a practice that would follow him throughout his career.
Moreover, the first scene in which he appeared instantly demonstrated the magnetic screen quality that made him a star.
To watch scenes from LE COMEDIE DU BONHEUR, click the images at right.
Or view only scenes with Louis Jourdan by clicking the image below.
Watch scenes from this film