Charles Spaak is one of those French scenarists - along with Henri Jeanson, Pierre Bost and Jean Aurenche - who tended to be overshadowed by the mighty Jacques Prevert. Any writer who can list La Kermesse heroique, La Belle Equipe and La Grande Illusion on his cv - and those were just a few of his PRIOR credits, post-Ciel they include Remorques and Le Corporal Epingle - would be almost certain to land a job on 'The World Turns' were he alive today. Spaak has delivered a quiet charmer here albeit propaganda fodder for Vichy. Charles Vanel acts out of his skin as Pierre Gauthier (what, one wonders, inspired this choice of name - with its overtones of Theophile Gauthier - for the two lead protagonists) mostly by NOT acting, or not SEEMING to. He is well matched by Madeleine Renaud as Therese, his wife, who, given the somewhat thankless role of role MODEL to French women everywhere, succeeds beyond the wildest dreams of Petain in creating a flesh-and-blood PERSON. Sterling support by Ann Vandene as an amalgam of those early pioneering female pilots and Raymonde Vernay as the mother-in-law from outer Hell make this a film to cherish. It's strength lies in the accumulation of detail and the warmth of the relationships. With a less surer touch than that of Gremillon the subplot involving the daughter, a would-be musical prodigy, could be seen as over-egging the feminist pudding but here it takes its unobtrusive place in the main story of Renaud realizing her potential as a aviatrix. 8/10
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