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The Room Upstairs (1946)

Martin Roumagnac (original title)
The local building-contractor Martin Roumagnac is fascinated by the fashionable Blanche Ferrand. To impress Blache, Martin presents her with a villa. However, this ruins him financially. ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel) (as Pierre René Wolf), (adaptation) (as Pierre Very) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Blanche Ferrand - une grainetière intrigante
...
Martin Roumagnac - un petit entrepreneur de maçonnerie
Jean d'Yd ...
L'oncle de Blanche (as Jean D'Yd)
...
Le surveillant du collège - épris de Blanche (as Daniel Gelin)
Jean Darcante ...
L'avocat de la défense
Marcel Pérès ...
Paulot - le chef de chantier et ami de Martin (as Perez)
Camille Guérini ...
Gardin - le facteur (as Camille Guerini)
Henri Poupon ...
Gargame - un notable de Clairval
Lucien Nat ...
Rimbaut - l'adjoint au maire, ancien amant de Blanche
Paul Amiot ...
Le président du tribunal
Marcelle Hainia ...
Madame Percheron, la pompiste
Jean Heuzé ...
Le procureur
Charles Lemontier ...
Bonnemain - le bistrot
Georges Bever ...
Un citoyen de Clairval (as Bever)
Paul Faivre ...
L'acheteur de l'appartement de Blanche
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Storyline

The local building-contractor Martin Roumagnac is fascinated by the fashionable Blanche Ferrand. To impress Blache, Martin presents her with a villa. However, this ruins him financially. Despite Martin's many efforts for the now femme-fatal Blanche, she is not able to chose between him and the rich consul De Laubry. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

18 December 1946 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Room Upstairs  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French censorship visa #4.121. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Builder Jean Gabin encounters femme fatale Marlene in a provincial French town
24 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a noir enthusiast, I was very pleased to be able to run into and see this film under the title "Martin Roumagnac", who is Gabin's character. Dietrich plays a woman with the reputation of attracting men to her room upstairs above her uncle's bird store, hence, the alternate title "The Room Upstairs". However, since Gabin's Roumagnac is central to the story, and not Dietrich's doings before she meets him, the original title is more descriptive.

Gabin is a builder. He falls for Dietrich, and she likes him. The problem is that she likes certain kinds of men in general. She's not the faithful type. Beyond that, she and her uncle have planned to trap a rich upper class consul into marriage once his wife dies (and she does).

In just under two hours, the story has plenty of time to develop complications. Gabin begins to neglect his business and become overextended. His reputation in the town declines and he loses business. We get a full development of his interactions with those in the town, who tend to be narrowminded and provincial. We also get a full development of Dietrich's character, named Blanche Ferrand. She is not a tart or a call girl or a prostitute by any stretch of the term. Hers is a more complex person. For example, when the consul does make a pitch for her, he is cold and places it on a monetary footing. She angers and rejects him as inferior to the much more boorish and unsophisticated Gabin (Martin). Gabin at least loves her and satisfies her.

There is more...but I am avoiding spoilers in this review.

This movie is not fully-developed in noir style in the photography and staging, even if the story is basically noir. Also, the script makes it come across more as 40s melodrama than as a harder-edged tale. This is not "Nora Prentiss" or "The Unfaithful", noirs that came out of Warner Bros. in 1947. The conclusion is, however, thoroughly noir.

I didn't know that Dietrich was in this, and that was a pleasant surprise. She handled the complexity of Blanche very well indeed. Supporting players did well in helping to create a fulfilling movie. Director Georges Lacombe may not be a Hitchcock, but he had his hands full, I am sure, on this project and the result was a credit to his work.


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