After she has abused the confidence of the young engineer Pierre Lavernay, the beautiful thief Olga, who has fallen in love with him, wants to break with her criminal past. Unfortunately, ... See full summary »
Simon's life is troubled by images of a crime which happened in his family a hundred years ago. While traveling in south France, he finds the landscape familiar. That's when he meets ... See full summary »
"Coeur de Lilas " is a worthwhile find.Its screenplay is original and its directing is often brilliant.
The movie begins and ends with a military parade:in the neighborhood,brats are doing the same till one of them says he has enough with soldiers and they play cops and robbers ...just to discover a dead body on the "Fortifications" (which do not exist anymore in Paris nowadays).The "game "subject will return as Jean Gabin and his pals do a travesty of a trial and in the last pictures when one of the kids says " a cop must not be moved",actually the moral of the story.
The first scenes of "Coeur de Lilas" suffer from an old-fashioned theatrical acting but as soon it takes place in the greasy spoon where Gabin and chanteuse Frehel sing "la Môme Caoutchouc" ( =rubber gal),the film hits its stride .Many of its elements would emerge again in other more famous French movies or in Litvak's future career.
-The bad gal falling in love with an undercover policeman (and sighing :"I wish there were not so many cops in this world":of course she does not know his true identity)who tries to worm information out of her would be used by Pierre Chenal in his "l'Alibi" (1937) -The guinguettes down by the river Marne where Fernandel (in one of his smallest part of a best man) sings for the bride would be a permanent feature of the French film noir :see "la Belle Equipe" (1936) by Duvivier and Becker's "Casque d'Or" (1952) -The desperate lovers surrounded by a farandole ,it's already the ending of "Les Enfants du Paradis" in miniature.
-The hallucinations during the heroine's running already display the director's interest in madness ("the snake pit",1946)
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