(1954, Fr, 65 min, b/w) Dir Albert. Cast Albert, Romy Pice, Joseph M.
A young man (deadpan director/performer Albert) is found in his pyjamas on the early morning streets of Paris, walking to and fro with his hands behind his back, stopping occasionally to bob his head. A passing milkman stops to ask if he is okay but in response the man just quacks. The milkman eventually takes him to a nearby police station where he is jokingly named Donald by the officers. A massive campaign to identify him is launched with no luck but in the meantime a local doctor offers to take Donald in where he befriends the doctor’s daughter. All is well until a mix up with the shifty groundskeeper one night leads to the young man being incarcerated in a local asylum where, during a midnight ceremony, he is crowned the King of the Ducks by his fellow inmates, complete with cardboard crown. The film ends with the downcast Donald sitting on the grass outside wearing his crown, looking up and smiling at a V of ducks passing overhead and off into the distance, calling after them with proud quacks of his own. Though it starts as a comedy it ends firmly in the realm of the classic weepy and any public screening I’ve attended has been awash in hot salty tears by the end.