On purge bébé ★★★★

A manufacturer of porcelain demonstrates his “unbreakable” chamber pot to a member of the War Ministry, hoping that the government will buy the pots for the use of the French Army, 300,000 strong, each soldier with his own pot emblazoned with his name and serial number. Meanwhile the business owner’s slatternly wife has decided that 7 year old “baby” has not “been” and needs to take a laxative. The child refuses, and his mother drags him to his father demanding that he make baby take the mineral oil. The father is mortified, but the minister expresses his sympathy. The conversation soon turns to remedies for intestinal aliments. After the wife has insulted the Minister by calling him a cuckold, both men have drunk mineral oil, and two duels are in the offing, the husband leaves in high dudgeon. At the curtain, the boy easily convinces his doting mother that he has drunk the laxative.

For his first talkie, French director Jean Renoir filmed a 1910 one act farce by playwright Georges Feydeau. The plot contains little action, but lots of absurd, slightly crude, dialogue, spoken at high speed by expert actors. Great fun.