The incomparable Josephine Baker, dances and sings her way through a long-thought-lost 1945 French classic.

Born into poverty, Josephine Baker rose from a childhood living in a St. Louis slum to the toast of France – captivating audiences through the stage, recordings and motion pictures, and you’ll get to see why in “The French Way.”

The film is a farcical romantic-comedy, set in contemporary WWII France, about young lovers forbidden to marry by their respective families. Baker, as “Zazu,” is the owner of a nightclub and inherits a job restoring harmony between the two families and allowing the young lovers to ‘se marier.’

A mélange of French character actors add to the fun, but when Josephine’s on the screen she is as Ernest Hemingway once said, “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”

“The French Way” filmed in 1940 — literally amidst bombing raids – released in France in 1945, and was briefly shown in the USA in 1952 where the order of some scenes was changed and about 2-3 minutes of “dramatic” footage was cut. In all other respects, it is virtually complete as originally released.

Note: In real life Josephine Baker aided the French Resistance and was awarded, among other honors, the Croix de Guerre by the French military.

1945 / 90 minutes / French w/English subtitles / Black and White / A film by Jacques de Baroncelli


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Watch the trailer