A policeman is killed when he tries to investigate a case involving cocaine traffic. The only evidence of the crime is a white female's bloodstained glove found in an abandoned taxi and a ... See full summary »
Those five are unemployed penniless workers. Together they win 100,000 Francs with the national lottery. Instead of sharing the money, they buy a ruin and build an open-air cafe. But ... See full summary »
Although the son (Jack-aka Jacques- Tourneur) is more known around the world thanks to such cult movies as "cat people", Maurice (the father) was one of the good directors of the French thirties (just a notch or two under Renoir,Carné ,Duvivier,Gance,Pagnol or Gremillon)."Justin de Marseille has certainly worn much better than more recent works such as "Borsalino" and its sequel "Borsalino and co" .
"Justin" is a good cross between Pagnol's bonhomie and Duvivier's film noir.Tourneur does not reach their level,though,and the reason can be found in his scripts:the story lacks focus ,intensity ,and a brilliant dialog writer is sometimes desperately needed ,even if the last sequence has a go at poetry involving even the Polar star.
But as a director,Tourneur cannot be too highly praised: the "funeral" sequence is a classic! He knows how to render the atmosphere of every place he's filming: the brothel -where a young lad,who's too shy,"will come back on Sunday,after the mass!"-,the opium den,the harbor where women sell fish by auction,the parade which opens the movie and which shows young boys singing an old tune (probably entitled "la Canebière" ).The actions scenes are brilliant too: the attack on the hearse full of opium is treated as a silent film .
However ,something's lacking! Something that made "Pépé le Moko" a masterpiece whereas "Justin" is only a good film.
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