Henry Decoin's first efforts were virtually all sentimental comedies (except maybe "le Domino Vert" which was more melodrama -like).Rosy began to turn to black from " Les Inconnus Dans La Maison" and he became one of the masters of the French film noir;unlike what Melville did later ,his was pure French art ,displaying no influence from the American masters such as Walsh,Hathaway,Wise ,Siodmak or Farrow: "La Fille Du Diable" " Les Amoureux Du Pont Saint-Jean ""La Verite Sur Bebe Donge" "Non Coupable" are genuine classics which the new wave ignored of course.
"Battement De Coeur" is one of the last of his rosy comedies (for the record ,there would be "Je Suis Avec Toi" (1943)and like almost all the other ones ,it stars Danielle Darrieux ,then his wife and the young girls' idol."Battement De Coeur" is not unlike Mitchell Leisen's "Midnight" (1939),as French (and American)movies specialist Writer's Reign wrote.Billy Wilder's and Marcel Hachard's screenplays are very similar ,both being very Cinderellesque ."Battement De Coeur" adds a Dickensian touch with his "pick pocket's school" where the "students " learn the tricks of the trade ,under a modern Fagin's watchful eye.Dig this line : "I've not been studying in this school for months to become a constable !" .It's a pleasant comedy : Darrieux is as sparkling as champagne and that's where its attraction lies.
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