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Elena et les hommes (Elena and Her Men) (Paris Does Strange Things)

Elena et les hommes (Elena and Her Men) (Paris Does Strange Things) (1957)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 430

My Rating

Movie Info

In the 1950s, French films were considered the ne plus ultra in naughtiness by certain impressionable filmgoers. It was to these movie fans that the American distributor of Jean Renoir's Elena et les Hommes (Elena and the Men) catered when it provocatively retitled the picture Paris Does Strange Things As further grist to the mill for American publicity hacks, the film starred Ingrid Bergman, who had recently returned to Hollywood after her career was nearly ruined by a marital scandal. Actually


Drama, Romance, Art House & International, Comedy

Jean Renoir

Aug 3, 2004

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (3) | DVD (4)

Fantasy, yes, but hardly escapist in the astonishing pertinence with which it reduces the hawkish military and political ambitions of the day to derisory farce while demonstrating the infallibility with which love goes on making the world go round.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fact that Jean Renoir was its director is the ultimate oddity. How this fiasco could have happened is difficult to explain.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bergman's signature elegance remains the only enduring element of Renoir's light-hearted confection.

October 21, 2004 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's interesting is the way that Renoir preserves a strong erotic and romantic thread (the love between Bergman and Ferrer) all the way through the movie's farcical elements.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is ravishing to look at (with Ingrid Bergman radiant at its center), and its mid-80s 35-millimeter restoration is a sumptuous treat indeed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a fantastic film. It is filled with patented Renoirisms, from the utter sincerity of the emotions to the exceptional impressionistic composition.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

...there's something to be said for Renoir's universe in which governments can turn on the question of who gets to bed Ingrid Bergman.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source:

the resemblance it bears to Renoir's great Rules of the Game is more than passing, and I think this detracts

August 24, 2004 Full Review Source:

Even if ultimately this is not one of Renoir's best efforts, assured direction and a biting script show some of the old magic.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Elena et les hommes (Elena and Her Men) (Paris Does Strange Things)

Silly concoction is a minor work for all involved. Ingrid, in her last foreign film before her exile from Hollywood due to the Rossolini scandal ended and triumphant return in Anastastia, is charming and her dresses are incredibly beautiful. But the settings have a sense of falseness to them, even wealthy people's homes look like someone lives there, these are obvious sets. Even the outdoor scenes have a claustrophoic feeling of being stagebound. Mildly amusing but almost completely forgettable.
December 23, 2011
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A Full 5 Stars, I seldom do that. This is Movie from the Criterion Collection, like most movies from this collection its outstanding. Its in French with English Subtitles. Its easy to see that Ingrid Bergman was both beautiful and talented. We really don't see that in Female actors today, They are hot for a while but there flame burns out quickly. Back in the Day and Actor or Actress was just that.
December 14, 2007
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Elena and Her Men" starts out in an early 20th century Bastille Day celebration in Paris. Elena(Ingrid Bergman) is a Polish princess in exile who helps ambitious men succeed by mysteriously giving them daisies. Her latest protege has just learned that his opera will be produced. The next is hero General Rollan(Jean Marais) who has just taken the position of War Secretary and many want to be President of the Republic. Meanwhile, having run out of pearls to sell, Elena accepts a marriage proposal from a hideously wealthy shoe manufacturer. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Elena and Her Men" is a delightful, fabulously looking bit of nonsense.(It's never explained how exactly Elena helps the men...) Jean Renoir returns partially to the scene of "Rules of the Game" when part of the film takes place in a country estate with the gentry and servants cavorting together. I have a possible complaint about a relatively young democracy like France in this movie being so keen on seeking such a strong military leader as its president. [/font]
September 6, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Paris Does Strange Things (Elena et les hommes) (DE)
  • Paris Does Strange Things (Elena et les hommes) (UK)
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