This film is another definitive proof that the FRench cinema did not begin,as too many people innocently think ,with Robert Bresson or the Nouvelle Vague.
"Un revenant" has everything: a dream of a cast where Jouvet is of course the stand-out:just hearing him speak is just a joy,his ironical vengeful voice makes this work unwatchable if it is dubbed; supporting actors are up to scratch:Gaby Morlay was probably never better as Genevieve ,a woman who accepted a compromise solution and whose life is definitely lost;Jean Brochard and Louis Seigner shine in their parts of mean bourgeois,the latter not afraid of marrying his only son with an ugly bubble head girl to assure the prosperity of his business;François Périer is the perfect romantic young lead,reading Goethe's "Werther" ,and epitomizing the youth which the fifty-something around him have never known;Ludmilla Tcherina is as competent as a gorgeous bitch as she is as a ballerina (she was a real "Danseuse Etoile de l'Opera de Paris");and last by not least,Marguerite Moreno,one of the French Monstres Sacrés ,as the rich childless auntie .
Remarkable sequences: Jean-Jacques (Jouvet),coming into his bedroom after twenty years;the same, painting a picture of the young François (Périer) as he looks at the things the boy keeps in his room; the sensational part in the opera theater ,where all the characters gather for the show,which does not really take place on stage;Geneviève looking through her opera glasses and saying goodbye to the posh despicable world she 's still part of;François looking at the whirling group of ballerinas from the flies ,and falling;The aunt 's final soliloquy when she confesses she expects nothing from the great beyond ;and more...
Henri Jeanson steeps his pen in venom and writes some of his most brilliant lines.Jouvet/Jeanson who had already worked wonders in previous movies (the most famous example being Carné's "Hotel du Nord" )team up for the very best ,under Christian-Jaque's masterful directing."Un Revenant" ,which was given four stars (out of four) in the "Dictionnaire des Films" is a must for everyone interested in the evolution of the French cinema.
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