"Le Dabe" retired many years ago and now he lives in the Tropics where he owns stables and horses. He is a very rich man. He was the king of all money counterfeiters. He is contacted from ... See full summary »
César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger ... See full summary »
In the suburbs of Paris, an old maid has just been murdered. Every body talks about that, except the misanthrope Mr Hire. The same evening, Alice, just getting out of jail, arrives and ... See full summary »
Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she ... See full summary »
An adaptation of Abbe Prevost's classic French novel 'Manon Lescaut', updated to post-World War II France, in which a former French Resistance activist rescues Manon from villagers who want... See full summary »
John Sawyer, once an eminent barrister, has slid into a life of cynicism and drunkenness since his wife left him. When his daughter's boyfriend is accused of murder, Sawyer decides to try ... See full summary »
Michel Ancelin is an alcoholic doctor: the more the people look down on him as a miserable failure the more he hates his own guts... until that night when, driving home and drunk, he ... See full summary »
The character played by Marcel Mouloudji was originally called "Ephraïm Luska" when the film was released in 1942. After being banned for anti-Semitism after the war, the film was re-released a few years later and any reference to the fact the character is Jewish was erased. He was renamed "Amédée Luska" instead and all the scenes where his name is mentioned were re-recorded; except one, during the trail scene, when he is called to testify and Raimu still refers to him as "Ephraïm Luska". One can only presume that the dialogue could not be re-recorded as Raimu had died by then, or that this scene simply escaped the censors. See more »
The precedent movie "le Bienfaiteur" was a timid attempt at a society put down ."Les Inconnus dans la Maison" has two major assets:Raimu,one of the most prodigious the French cinema ever had and Henri-George Clouzot ,the future director of such gems as "diabolique" "le Corbeau" or "le Salaire de la Peur "(wages of fear).But it does not explain the success of this work.The whole town,the old house are wrapped in a strange poetry "someone is walking in the attic upstairs the heroine says -No,that must be this old creaking furniture".The first pictures display the saddest town in the world where the rain keeps falling down.
Raimu's performance is once more stunning:during one hour ,his part is completely subdued,because he plays a human wreck,who is on the booze all day long.A former lawyer,he called it quits when his wife left him;and now,he lives with his daughter whom he does not seem to love very much.Then he discovers a dead body in his house :the girl and her pack of youngsters are involved .But he acts as like he doesn't care.He agrees to defend the suspect,his daughter's boyfriend.
Raimu really plays Lazarus:after attending the first part of the trial in a complete indifference,uttering one word or two ,he rises from the dead and puts the teenagers'parents in the dock.Raimu's performance is really sublime and a lot of actors who intend to play a lawyer should have a look at "les inconnus dans la maison".
With this film,Decoin became a great film noir director -he will outdo himself in "non coupable" -In spite of a happy end ,the audience leaves the movie with a bitter taste in the mouth:the whole town is rotten,fathers and mothers have failed ,a subject which André Cayatte will resume in "avant le déluge" (1953).
In 1992,George Lautner redid "les inconnus dans la maison" with Jean-Paul Belmondo as the lead.But a remake is a remake ,and taking on a Raimu's part is pure suicide:besides,time had taken its toll and the screenplay which was original in 1942 became mundane fifty years later:the movie looked like some seventies qualité française movie,at a time when drug was the subject à la mode.
Another remake was made by Pierre Rouve ("Stranger in the house" )between Decoin's and Lautner's versions ,with James Mason as the lead in 1967.
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