Marcel Dalio was a character actor whose career spanned five decades. Though often typecast, the Frenchman found himself filling roles in very different niches on either side of the pond. In I, Dalio – or Rules of the Game, we recount some of Dalio’s prominent roles and explore his contributions to Hollywood and European cinema.
I, Dalio is a rundown of Marcel Dalio’s filmography with narration presented as if it were first person. Said narration leaves something to be desired, but snippets of irony and humour do come across from time to time. The film is comprised completely of clips of Dalio’s films, which makes it a lot more interesting to watch than it should be.
Though a seasoned talent, Dalio was not a household name in North America. There are a lot of mildly delightful “oh, he was that guy!” moments as some of his Hollywood films are highlighted, his role of the croupier Emil at Rick’s American Cafe in Casablanca is amongst the most memorable.
The film’s exploration into the different cultural perceptions of Dalio is presented in a very straightforward manner. The narrator points out how he portrayed roles of “the Jew” aka thief/snitch/crook while we see snippets of these films on screen. Then we swap to Hollywood content in which he is cast as the thick-accented Frenchman. More insight could probably be gleaned from his Wikipedia page.