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A Parisian sewer worker longs for a rise in status and a beautiful wife. He rescues a girl from the police, lives with her in a barren flat on the seventh floor, and then marches away to war. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Watching this movie, I can't understand why Simone Simon didn't become a great star. In this movie she's luminous on a level with Ingrid Bergman & Audrey Hepburn. Watch the scene where Jimmy Stewart really look at her for the first time as she turns her face to his with the melody of 'Diane' playing softly; movie magic!
She made two other well-known movies: Cat People & Curse of the Cat People, then her career dwindled into nothingness. Perhaps if she'd had more charismatic co-stars like James Stewart to play off against. She should have been James Cagney's unrequited love in "The Roaring Twenties" instead of that insipid Priscilla Lane (or was it Rosemary Lane?)
James Stewart is superb as Chico. He's awkward, gruff, reluctant to get involved with other people yet his core decency compels him prevent Diane's mistreatment and stop her suicide attempt. Stewart was probably that way in real life. I don't agree that he's miscast or that he should have a French accent. There are people like that in all countries. It's not about France or French people. Any urban setting like London, Rome, New York etc. would have done equally well.
I found the character played by J. Edward Bromberg rather disturbing. He kept showing up to rain on Diane's parade with those strange eyes. I kept hoping Diane would give him a beating like she did to Gale Sonergaard.
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