On purge bébé

On purge bébé
Directed by Jean Renoir
Produced by Pierre Braunberger
Written by Georges Feydeau
Starring Marguerite Pierry
Jacques Louvigny
Michel Simon
Music by Paul Misraki
Cinematography Theodor Sparkuhl
Edited by Jean Mamy
Distributed by Les Etablissement Braunberger-Richebé
Release dates
June 21, 1931
Running time
52 minutes
Country France
Language French

On purge bébé (Baby's Laxative) is Jean Renoir's first sound film. It is a 1931 comedy about a supposedly unbreakable chamberpot and a constipated baby. It is noted for mocking the French bourgeoisie.

Renoir made the film in a record three weeks (from script to finished film) in order to get backing for other projects. His next film was La Chienne.


Mr. Follavoine seeks to sell unbreakable chamberpots to the French army. In an attempt to close the deal, he invites Chouilloux, an influential official of the Ministry of hosts, for dinner to discuss putting his chamberpots on the market. But on that same day, Follavoine's son is constipated and Mrs. Follavoine tries to force him to take his laxative, but he flat out refuses to take it. From that point on, nothing goes as planned.


On June 14, 2016, American video-distribution company The Criterion Collection released On purge bébé, newly restored through a 4K digital transfer, as a bonus feature for the release of La Chienne on Blu-ray and DVD.


  1. Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell, Film History: An Introduction.
  2. On purge bébé

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