Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 12. August 20, 1947
IIs étaient Neuf Célibataires — —A Review
IIs étaient Neuf Célibataires
I arrived too late for the title page so cannot tell you who the actors are apart from Sacha Guitry; I cannot tell you who produced it or who did the make-up or any of the other things which typifies the intensely learned film-goer. All I know is that it is a French film, produced in 1939 and is exceptionally good.
Its English title is possibly "The Nine Bachelors," but if from that you expect a sauve Parisian setting with all the niceties of a French "Rake's Progress" you will be disappointed. If you expect comedy of a rich international kind you will enjoy the film immensely. To tell the story here would to some extent spoil the film. It is sufficient to say that it centres around the need for women of foreign extraction to marry a Frenchman and so gain French citizenship. The marriages are ones of convenience, the husbands are not supposed to see their wives again after the marriage has taken place. They do, however, visit their wives, and the different episodes are handled in a way which has become a distinguishing mark of French film production.
The production in many places reaches great heights. To handle nine individuals as individuals and not as a crowd, is something rarely attempted by our Hollywood producers but is done here with great skill. It is one of the first films I have seen in which the incidental music has been an integral part of the scene, and it appears to me as though the music was played to the actors during production, otherwise such synchronisation could have hardly been possible. A thoroughly desirable film and well worth seeing.
—J. R. McCreary.