Carnival in Flanders (1935): Jacques Feyder’s Masterpiece

Jacques Feyder’s masterpiece, Carnival in Flanders, is set during war between the Dutch and the Spanish.

A small village in Flanders is invaded by Spanish troops. The townsfolk, having  heard of previous Spanish brutalities, then determine to deflect the vanquishers by playing dead.

When this strategy proves to be ineffective, the wife of the burgomaster tries to soften up the invaders with a lavish carnival.

The venture is so successful that the Spaniards allow the village to escape being decimated, or even taxed.

Carnival in Flanders was banned in Germany, due to Goebbels’s realization that director Jacques Feyder and scribes Bernard Zimmer and Charles Spaak were drawing parallels between the Spanish and the Nazi regime.

Françoise Rosay as Cornelia the Burgoma.

Lyne Clevers as The Fishwife

Micheline Cheirel as Siska

Maryse Wendling as The Baker’s Wife

Ginette Gaubert as The Innkeeper’s Wife

Jean Murat as Duke d’Olivares

Louis Jouvet as The Priest

André Alerme as The Burgomaster

Marguerite Ducouret as The Brewer’s Wife
Bernard Lancret as Jan Brueghel
Alfred Adam as The Butcher

Pierre Labry as The Innkeeper

Arthur Devère as The Fishmonger

Marcel Carpentier as The Baker

Alex D’Arcy as The Captain
Delphin as The Dwarf



Directed by: Jacques Feyder

Screenplay: Charles Spaak and Bernard Zimmer

Running time: 90 Minutes