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Marcelle Charles Dullin,
POSSIBLE SPOILERS POSSIBLE SPOILERS Raimu was one of the best French actors of all time.He shone in the Pagnol trilogy("Cesar","Fanny" and "Marius")he was absolutely unique,a real "monstre sacré".Victor gave him the opportunity to play,masterfully, a part of a criminal.
Monsieur Victor is a storekeeper,married to a lovely woman (Madeleine Renaud),who's younger than him and who's just given him a child.But he is involved with a band of thieves,and as he wants to retire to become an honest man-because of his new-born baby boy-one of the villains threatens to reveal his secret business .Monsieur Victor kills him,almost by accident;first,he does not realize what he's done,because he's a good man,he loves children and always lends a helping hand.Monsieur Victor is close to Fritz Lang's characters.An innocent,Bastien (Pierre Blanchar) is accused and sentenced to ten years of chain gang.
Monsieur Victor is eaten with remorse,his nature changes,he becomes nervous and quick-tempered,nobody (including his wife)understands him anymore.
Coup de theatre:Bastien escapes,he wants to see again his son; his wife (Viviane Romance)had divorced in order to marry a buck.Monsieur Victor hides him in his house.Then begins a stifling "huis clos"in the first floor of the house :the three persons ,the innocent-who ignores Victor's crime- the guilty one,and the wife.It's a dialogue of deafs,Monsieur Victor knowing that a gesture,a word or a look can ruin his whole life.But because he's a good man,he wants to help him and he treats him almost like a son.Bastien will also be the couple's enlighter.It's really a cul de sac,and Jean Gremillon conjures an excellent psychological suspense.
You've got to see Raimu,his extraordinary -but voluntarily subdued- emotional power-he was also a great stage actor as was Madeleine Renaud-,his fabulous presence,his big-hearted -even after what he's done- figure.He was irreplaceable.
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