A man and a woman arrive in a cafe-hotel near the belgian frontier. The customers recognize the man from the police's description. His name is Amedee Lange, he murdered Batala in Paris. His... See full summary »
In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture. Many mingle with locals and settle down permanently - like Toni, an Italian who has ... See full summary »
This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration ... See full summary »
"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May '68 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a ... See full summary »
Yussuf and Aliosha are two shipwrecked sailors on an island in the Caspian Sea. They start working as sailor and mechanic for the fishing boats of the "Lights of the Communism" kolkhoz. ... See full summary »
The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
An anguished foster child takes to mischief and lies as his foster parents do their best to love and care for him. But it might be too little, too late in this emotionally devastating portrayal of the orphaned child.
François Chotard , wholesale grocer , gives his daughter in marriage to Julien Collinet , a writer who prefers dreaming to working - a situation conducive to quarrels between the son and ... See full summary »
Soon after the death of his first wife (whose dowry was inadequate), Charles Bovary, a country doctor in Normandy, marries Emma Rouault, who is well-endowed in every sense. In her new home,... See full summary »
The first filmed Simenon novel and the first Maigret film
This dreary film was a bad start for Simenon on the screen. Surprisingly, it was directed by Jean Renoir, who could rise to such heights as a great director, but here sank to unparalleled depths of mediocrity and dullness. It was not as if Renoir was new to directing, for he had already directed several films before this one. So there is no excuse. Because the action of the film largely takes place at night (as the title indicates), the film is literally very dark indeed. The lighting is terrible, and as it was such an early sound film, the sound is not much better. But the greatest disappointment of all is Pierre Renoir, older brother of Jean, in his role of Commissaire (Inspector) Jules Maigret. He is dull, dull, and duller. Many will remember him fondly from the later film LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS. But he was no good as a Maigret. He gives the character no personality whatsoever. A golem could have done a better job of it. Those of us who appreciate Jean Gabin and Bruno Cremer as Maigret can only sink into a slough of despond at the sight of this lifeless first screen incarnation of our hero. The Danish actress Winna Winifried, in her first screen appearance, attempts to inject some mystery into the film by her extraordinarily louche and languid performance, a deeply weird portrayal which if better exploited and directed could have worked very well indeed. She ceased work in 1940 with her seventh film, and as far as IMDb is concerned, vanished from the world after that. I wonder if the Danes could tell us more. She must have fled the Nazi invasion of Paris in that year, and who knows what might have become of her after that. She had made four French films and three British ones, none of which seems to be particularly known today, and only one has been reviewed by a single specialist reviewer, except for this one, which has been revived recently. As for the story, it is a rather meandering and feeble one, involving the smuggling of cocaine in automobile tyres. Perhaps that is why the action appears to go round in circles. Jacques Becker (father of Jean Becker), who three years later was to begin his directing career, was Production Manager. A third member of the Renoir family also worked on this film, Claude Renoir, who was focus puller. Three years later, he commenced his career as cinematographer, and only retired in 2010, after 86 films in that job. Truly the Renoir family have made their mark on French culture. Claude Renoir's most spectacular success as a cinematographer was probably, and most appropriately (considering who his grandfather was), the magnificent film about another famous painter, LE MYSTÈRE DE PICASSO (1956), directed by the brilliant Henri-Georges Cluzot. He was also the cinematographer for his brother Jean's magical and evocative film THE RIVER (1951), a classic made all the more memorable by Claude Renoir's fine work in capturing the atmosphere of India on location. It is such a pity that all these talented people could not have done a better job on this particular film, but there is no use pretending that they succeeded, because they did not. I agree with another reviewer who says that this film is 'awkward, amateurish and even inept'.
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