Sophie and the Ghost (1946): Claude Autant-Lara’s French Comedy, Starring Odette Joyeux, François Périer and Pierre Larquey

From Our Vaults

Claude Autant-Lara directed Sylvie and the Ghost (French: Sylvie et le fantôme), a French comedy starring Odette Joyeux, François Périer and Pierre Larquey.

Sylvie and the Ghost
Sylvie and the Ghost.jpg

Shot at the Saint-Maurice Studios in Paris, it was Autant-Lara’s third feature.

The sets were designed by the art directors Jacques Krauss and Lucien Carr

Fascinated by the portrait of long dead Alain de Francigny, Sophie is upset when her father, Baron Eduard, is forced to sell the painting.

As a joke, the Baron hires an actor to appear as Alain’s ghost on the eve of Sylvie’s 16th birthday. Two admirers of Sylvie decide to also appear as ghosts.

The actual ghost of Alain de Francigny is annoyed, and he too makes an appearance.

The special effect of the ghost were done by shooting through glass pane and using two identical sets. This was a regular set where all actors appeared, except the ghost (Tati). At the same time the reflection would be visible of the second set, placed at 90 degree angle to the primary set. This set was covered entirely in black velvet, and the only actor on this set was Tati.

Odette Joyeux as Sylvie
François Périer as Ramure
Pierre Larquey as Baron Eduard
Claude Marcy as La comtesse des Vertus
Jean Desailly as Frederick
Paul Demange as The Counsellor
Marguerite Cassan as Marthe
Raymond Rognoni as Damas
Gabrielle Fontan as Mariette
Jacques Tati as The Ghost of Alain de Francigny
Louis Salou as Anicet
Julien Carette as Hector
Ana María Cassan as Girl
Lise Topart as Girl


Directed by Claude Autant-Lara
Screenplay by Jean Aurenche, based on Sylvie et le fantôme by Alfred Adam
Produced by André Paulvé
Cinematography Philippe Agostini
Edited by Madeleine Gug
Music by René Cloërec

Production company: Écran Français

Distributed by DisCina

Release date: February 6, 1946

Running time: 97 minutes

Claude Autant-Lara Filmography

Ciboulette (1933)

Fric-Frac (1939)

Sylvie and the Ghost (1946)

Devil in the Flesh (1947)

Keep an Eye on Amelia (1949)

The Red Inn (1951)

“Pride” in The Seven Deadly Sins (1952)

Good Lord Without Confession (1953)

Le Blé en herbe (1954)

The Red and the Black (1954)

Marguerite de la nuit (1955)

La Famille Anodin (1956)

La Traversée de Paris (1956)

In Case of Adversity (1958)

The Gambler (1958)

The Green Mare (1959)

The Regattas of San Francisco (1960)

Thou Shalt Not Kill (1961)

The Count of Monte Cristo (1961)

Enough Rope (1963)

“La Bestiole” in Black Humor (1965)

A Woman in White (1965)”Paris Today” in The Oldest Profession (1967)

Gloria (1977)