Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous guy. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in ... See full summary »
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife, Thérèse, and their two young sons. Abel and ... See full summary »
A French farce set in Victorian London where a botanist and his wife get into trouble when they pretend to go missing in order to hide from their sanctimonious cousin -- an Anglican bishop who is leading a campaign against such writing.
A young couple, Renee and Pierre, take one night a room at the Hotel du Nord, in Paris, near the canal Saint-Martin. They want to die together, but after having shooted at Renee, Pierre ... See full summary »
Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous guy. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in order to get some engagements, he looses his temper and threatens Brignon with death. But Jenny went anyway to a rendez-vous at the old man's, who is murdered the same evening. The criminal investigations are lead by Inspector Antoine... Written by
Clouzot wrote almost two-thirds of the film only having read the novel years before, recalling it from memory, since it was out of print by the time he started the screenplay. When Stanislas-André Steeman saw the film, he was furious about the differences between the novel and the film. See more »
When Antoine is repeating Maurice's deposition to the typist, he says that the confrontation between Maurice and Brignon at the restaurant took place on Wednesday, December 2, 1946. In 1946, December 2 fell on a Monday. See more »
Quai des Orfevres takes too long getting going, with Clouzot so enamored of his back-stage milieu that he is almost in danger of forgetting the story. However, once it does, it's Clouzot at his best. Bertrand Blier (father of Bertrand Blier and co-star of his Buffet Froid) is the worldworn pianist who married beneath himself and who plans to kill the seedy studio mogul with designs on his wife only to find that someone has beaten him to it. Not only that, but his carefully planned but clumsily executed alibi falls to pieces, not least when a thief steals his car at the murder scene
The film really kicks into life with the arrival of Luis Jouvet's police inspector, a rather wonderful creation half Alistair Sim in Green for Danger and half world-weary Maigret with better dialog. In a neat running gag, his investigation is constantly conducted at the top of his voice against chaos and noise, whether it be the noisy typewriters of the police station or a loud rehearsal. The police station itself is a wonderfully realistic creation, a wealth of chaotic and telling small details that makes Steve Bocchco's once revolutionary 80's US cop shows look like antiquated museum pieces by comparison.
If Suzy Delair is a rather unconvincing femme fatale, the supporting cast more than compensate, with the beautiful Simone Renant a standout as the lesbian photographer in love with her from afar and constantly mistaken for Blier's lover by Delair and other interested parties (only Jouvet, similarly unlucky with women, understands and genuinely sympathises). With great black and white photography by Armand Thirard, this is a terrific little thriller with a nice twist ending and a lovely scene with a cab driver reluctantly identifying Renant in a police station. (Trivia note: Pierre Larquey, who played the playfully philosophical Dr Vorzet in Le Corbeau, turns up in smaller roles as a cab-driver in both Quai and Les Espions.)
The Criterion DVD is quite superb - great picture quality plus an illuminating extract from a French TV show featuring interviews with Clouzot, Blier and Renant.
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