Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Cannes Film Festival in 1946

Official poster of the 1st Cannes Film Festival illustrated by Leblanc

This week marks the 74th anniversary of the first Cannes Film Festival. We all want to go, I’m sure so let’s pile into the Olds and head back there. Do not forget the list, so we all can avoid a time continuum tear. All set. Let’s go.

James’ 1956 Oldsmobile from Eternal Road – The final stop

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Cannes Film Festival in 1946 by John W. Howell Β© 2020

10 If you go, do not take that plastic water bottle with you. If you do, at best, everyone will be looking at movie stars and not see you. At worst, someone will observe your bottle and want one. (The problem is, Marion, the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle was not invented until 1973. Now a person is yelling at you, demanding you tell them where you got the bottle. Oh-oh, A crowd and the gendarmes are headed your way.)

9 If you go, do not ask Tiny, the WWF champ, if he knows any movie stars. If you do, at best, he is pals with Lon Chaney. At worst, he does not know one. (This simple question, Markell, has caused Tiny to regress from his last group session on self-esteem. Tiny will assume everyone knows stars, and he is the only one who doesn’t. Prepare yourself for Tiny’s new wrestle hold called “The Pretzel.”)

8 If you go, do not ask directions to Palais des Festivals. If you do, at best, no one will know. At worst, you will ask a member of the planning committee. (Since the Palais des Festivals which is the home of the festival, was not built until 1952, you are now outed as either a spy or an alien, Marley. I think spy might be a better choice since there is no war going on, so you won’t be shot.)

7 If you go, do not ask which movie got the Palme d’Or this year. If you do, at best you’ll get strange looks. At worst, you’ll ask a member of the provincial government of France. (It just so happens, Marlow, that the member was in several meetings where the idea of a new award was tossed around. The current prize is Grand Prix du Festival. You now need to explain yourself. Quickly)

6 If you go, do not try to speak French. If you do, at best, no one will laugh. At worst, your American accent will cause most to walk away. (You have to realize, Marmion, not everyone appreciates you trying to speak the local language. In fact, here comes a representative of Berlitz Language Schools at the request of the locals.)

5 If you go, do not give your opinion about any of the films. If you do, at best, people will think you are a jurist. At worst, you may be overheard by a legitimate jurist. ( Now you are in it, Marque. These folks do not take impersonating a jurist lightly. Since there were only 18 jurists in total and the American was Iris Barry of MOMA, you didn’t stand a chance. Nice try with that wig.)

4 If you go, do not try to place bets that Lost Weekend by Billy Wilder will win an award. If you do, at best, no one will take the bet. At worst, even though the festival is being held in the Casino of Cannes, betting is not sanctioned. (It looks like the local gendarmes and French historian Georges Huisman acting as the Jury President want to speak to you. By the way, Marque you would have won all the bets. Too bad you can’t collect now that you are sitting in the hoosegow.)

3 If you go, do not argue with Italian director Roberto Rossellini about a better ending to his film Open City. If you do, at best, Roberto will think you are nuts. At worst, Roberto will take offense to your comments. (That glove slap to the face, Marsden means you two will be going outside for a duel. I hope you know how to use a sword or a cap lock pistol. Oh my. Well, maybe you can sneak off a Google them.)

2 If you go, do not say anything wrong about the Escargot served at the award banquet. If you do, at best, those around you may not like them either. At worst, your opinion will be overheard by the Chef. (You have to wonder, Marshal, how that person became such a renowned chef and yet be so thin-skinned. In any case, that butcher knife looks really sharp, and it may be time to test your 100 yard dash speed time.)

1 If you go, do not kid Alfred Hitchcock about the fact that his film Notorious’ three reels were shown in reverse order. If you do, at best, he’ll be preoccupied trying to find out who the projectionist was. At worst, since he’s not known as the most patient man, he will not appreciate your humor. (Alfred Hitchcock was once accused of saying, “Actors are cattle.” He violently denied the accusation, Martell, and corrected the accuser. “I never said Actors are cattle,” he argued. “What I said was actors should be treated like cattle.” So now he has a cattle prod, and you should be leaving.)

 

61 comments

  1. Poor Tiny. Really feel sorry for him on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is a creaure of pathos. Thanks for your sympathy, Charles.

      Like

  2. A cattle prod? My goodness, Hitchcock was such a strange dude, I can imagine him using that phrase, even though he claimed otherwise. I always learn something from your countdowns, John, thank you for the Monday morning wakeup! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the comments. I’m always so glad to see your here, Gwen. I’m also glad your enjoyed the post. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In other words zip it! Don’t say or ask a thing. Great list, John. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you have the essence of surviving time travel, Jill. πŸ˜‚ Thanks and I hope you have a super day.

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  4. Hmmmm, maybe I should take my chances with Tiny. Alfred seems a bit miffed. Did they have popcorn? I think, when I go to these things, I should have something to eat, something to keep my mouth busy,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’d get a hot doog and burger to go. That should keep you busy. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I take it 3-D is out of the question?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a little early for that. You could bring it up to Tiny and see what he says. (I’d wear some protective gear though. Tiny gets a little agressive when he doesn’t understand a question.) Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I was afraid of…..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a very fun ride! Thanks for taking us along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming along, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love Number 6 …If you go, do not try to speak French. Nothing is worse than speaking bad French, like nails on a blackboard, with an accent.

    An indelible image of Cannes I wish I could erase is…Pamela Anderson, at the height of her Baywatch fame, swanning in a black evening gown with her boobs featured front and center, without even being in a film. It was just fabricated (in more ways than one) attention, and boy did she get it.

    And Roberto Rossellini who the Vatican wanted to stone, well…maybe that hadn’t happened yet, should have just shut the f—k up.

    And Hitchcock was one bizarre dude. I’m just sayin’. Love Mondays at John’s. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susannah. There were so many bizarre stunts over the years I think it wouldbe fun to find some of the best. The Pamela Anderson one would be right up there. Also, could you imagine Hitcoks face when he learned his film was shown in reverse order? How about George Sydney’s The Three Musketeers projected upside-down?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They had a few kinks to iron out, I’d say.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I never know the draw of going there simply because of the mayhem. The noise, the hype. I know it’s a big deal, and good for one’s career. Didn’t hurt Pam any.

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      3. I think it would be fun once. Not going to happen though.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Better to watch it on the news.

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  8. Duly noted thanks John.. had not realised it had been going that long… not that I will ever be invited…xxx

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    1. You never know, Sally. Of course you will need to make a movie (or star in one) 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You never know John… if I win the lottery …xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You could for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’d invite you, but they won’t let me back since that little dust up with Faye Dunaway back in 1976.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I would have loved to be there. I’ll bet it was worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the Hitchcock quote. He wrote all his movies with the help of a screenwriter but never took a screen credit. Before filming started, he would have the entire movie laid out on storyboards. Everything from dialogue to the actors every movement. When it came time to film, he told the actors to just follow his directions. No “trying it another way,” no improvising. He had spent at least a year (sometime many years) getting things just like HE wanted. I think that’s what he meant about treating actors as cattle. He needed them in front of the camera, but that was all he needed them for. He had the movie down pat, thank you very much. Plus he had a great sense of humour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. as a kid I enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show. I think he was a genius. Thank you for your comments, Andrew. You have added some interestin information to the post. 😊

      Like

  10. Definitely skipping the escargot. More for you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right behind you. Maybe Tiny will eat it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Number 6 is the top of the set. Indeed, stay mute & watch movies no matter that they have no subtitles. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Yes maybe you can figure out the story anyway. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And it can be even better than the awarded one! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Maybe Hitchcock got the idea for North By Northwest from this chase scene.

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    1. It could well be.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh to be in Cannes, at any time! I will not attempt to use my limited, rusty, Canadian french which the real French think is a joke anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The real French think anything but French is a joke. Thanks, Darlene

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I didn’t know that about the water bottles, John — seems they’ve been around forever! And I’m still giggling over the thin-skinned Chef!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Yes, those bottle were thought of as a mjor breakthrough. Now they are a curse. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What’s wrong with escargot? I’ll have me a double-portion, please. And though I do speak French, fluently, I know I would get the “look” of being a provincial Quebecer… πŸ˜‰
    Always fun, these lists.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every time I went to France and tried to speak all I got was “eh?” Thanks, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha! I bet it was worse in Paris – they are such snobs…

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  16. This is very good, John. I think Cannes must have been cancelled this year because of Covid-19.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The things I learn on your Top Ten lists, John. Such fascinating little tidbits of history like Alfred Hitchcock’s statement. πŸ™‚ Great one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sneak the tidbits in to maintain the illusion of intellignce. Thank you , Jan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re doing a good job, John! πŸ™‚

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  18. If dueling- sword, cap lock pistol, light saber- gets me out of a five hour festival, I would at least have to consider it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I like #5, but I’d revise it slightly: “do not give your opinion about any of the films. If you do, at best, people will think you are a blithering idiot who doesn’t know a thing about films.” They’d be right, too!

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  20. I wonder if Hitchcock ate the escargot. Loved this one, John, especially #1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

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