It belongs to the French period of GW Pabst's career .The director had an international cast at his disposal:his fellow countrywoman Dita Parlo-who starred at the same time in Renoir's "La Grande Illusion" - and the creme de la creme of French actors: Louis Jouvet,Pierre Fresnay,Jean-Louis Barrault ,Pierre Blanchar and the bad gal Vivianne Romance.
It's a -rather confusing- spy thriller :Spy Parlo is in Thessalonique ,Greece ,at the end of WW1.Bulgaria is said to negotiate a separate peace agreement with the allies.But as everybody knows, prepare for peace if you wish to have war and as the other title reads ,there are plenty of spies in the place.
The plot is muddled and hard to catch up with.Some scenes are memorable,no matter the connection they have with the desultory story.
-Jean-Louis Barrault,in an one-scene performance ,buying a melon ;the audience thinks there's something hidden in his purchase,but there's isn't :he is as mad as a hatter.
-Vivianne Romance's song on a stage "Qu'en pensez-vous? ";the same's death in Jouvet's shop,a model of film noir scene ,with the melons rolling on the ground.
-Parlo's tapping the consul's phone.
-the final car chase.
In my copy the movie ends with Parlo's car burning.But there is a different conclusion in other copies: Parlo escapes unscathed but suffers from amnesia.
Like this?try these.....
Marthe Richard ,Au Service de La France Raymond Bernard 1937
Dishonored Joseph Von Sternberg 1931
Mata Hari ,Agent H21,Jean-Louis Richard 1964 (screenplay and dialog by Truffault)
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