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At the end of the 15th century, two minstrels Gilles and Dominique come from nowhere into the castle of Baron Hugues. Gilles charms Anne, Hughes' daughter, while Dominique charms both Hugues and Ann's fiance. Gilles and Dominique are not really in love : they are sent by the Devil to desperate people. But Ann is so pure that Gilles is caught to his own trap... How will they fight against the Devil ? Written by
The beauty of this stand-out collaboration between Jacques Prevert and Marcel Carne - in the middle of their great hitting streak - is that it works even without the 'coded' references which were a necessity at a time of German Occupation in France. So even when you watch Jules Berry as just the Devil and not a symbol for Hitler and likewise view the two visitors not as symbols of the Resistance but merely two wandering minstrels it still plays and you'll go a long way to find a more poetic image/symbol than Prevert's finale in which the Devil turns the lovers to stone before our eyes yet their hearts keep on beating. Not least of the pleasures on offer is future icon Simone Signoret as an extra but the whole schmeer, complete with some tasty lyrics by Prevert, is a total delight. 8/10
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