Une nuit extravagante

UNE NUIT EXTRAVAGANTE (meaning “a wild night”) is the rare, re-shot French adaptation of the 1930 three-reel comedy BLOTTO (meaning “drunk,” in the King’s English), and this version extends the original running time by a full reel. French actress Georgette Rhodes replaced the less hot-tempered Anita Garvin as Stan’s spouse, who is always wise to any of his schemes. In this Prohibition-era adventure, bachelor Ollie persuades his henpecked pal Stan to try and trick his wife and sneak away from an evening of calm domesticity at home in favor of merry drinking with fellow revelers at a nearby nightclub. Besides some new gags, the extra footage allows more time for the floor show (with a live orchestra) featuring a scantily-clad dancer, which is interesting because this sequence was deemed too wild for American sensibilities by the liberal standards of pre-Code Hollywood. Even Stan and Ollie seem shocked by some of the cabaret acts they see. M-G-M re-released BLOTTO in 1937, adding a delightful new incidental music score which totally alters the film’s character. English-speaking audiences have ever-after only known this reissue version, which was also edited by censors to conform to the more stringent 1934 Production Code standards in America. Neither the picture nor the soundtrack for UNE NUIT EXTRAVAGANTE, however, was ever tampered with subsequently, now offering us what appears to be an unexpurgated version of what the filmmakers intended on the domestic cut, as well as the flavor of the original and much different 1930 background music scoring (serious fans will recognize many 1929 pop hits). Each version of the scripted property is wonderful and appealing, but the difference in scoring plus the more risqué scenes intended exclusively for French audiences are what completely change the viewing experience. Long believed to be a "lost" film, UNE NUIT EXTRAVAGANTE was discovered in the care of the Czech National Film Archive in Prague. So it has been carefully mastered from the only nitrate film elements found to have survived these many decades. The physical preprint material did reflect some periodic wear in terms of splices, clipped dialogue, sound, and registration, but considering the alternative we are fortunate and happy to have this treasure under any circumstances!

-- by Richard W. Bann --

 Video excerpt from UNE NUIT EXTRAVAGANTE
 Corresponding video excerpt from BLOTTO
 Corresponding video excerpt from LA VIDA NOCTURNA (Spanish version of Blotto)
 Another video excerpt from UNE NUIT EXTRAVAGANTE