1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ...
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A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.
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In a small town in the West of France, during the German Occupation, a room is requisitioned by a Wehrmacht captain, Werner von Ebrennac. The house where he now stays is inhabited by young ... See full summary »
1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von Ebrennac, to live in for as long as he is in the area on Nazi business. As a figurative and literal silent protest against the Nazis and the officer, the uncle and niece do whatever is required of them while the officer is in their house, however they do not acknowledge his presence, living largely in silence whenever he is around. The officer treats the housing situation with care, like he is a guest. Although not a nightly occurrence, the officer begins an evening routine with his reluctant hosts: in his civilian clothes, he knocks on the door of the room in which they have convened for the evening, walking in shortly thereafter knowing that no acknowledgment will be made for him to enter, he visits with them for no more than five minutes before he bids them a good evening as he exits. During these ... Written by
Melville began filming without the rights to Vercors' novel; when Vercors heard of this, he met with Melville, who told him that if he did not like the film, he would burn the negative. Melville was also not in the screenwriters' or directors' unions and had difficulty in employing people and getting distribution. However, the film was an immense success, both critically and commercially and Vercors loved it. See more »
In a small town in occupied France in 1941, the German officer, Werner Von Ebrennac (Howard Vernon) is billeted in the house of the uncle and his niece. The uncle and niece refuse to speak to him, but each evening the officer warms himself by the fire and talks of his country, his music, and his idealistic views of the relationship between France and Germany.
I am not terribly familiar with the work of Melville. More or less, beyond "Le Samourai", I know practically nothing about the man and his work. And, after seeing this, I will have to say "Samourai" is the better film, though this is not without its merits and quite decent for its humble origins.
Of particular interest to me was the casting of Howard Vernon, who was only known to me from the films of Jess Franco. Seeing him in something else, especially something so serious, makes me see he is a better actor than the films he is associated with. What went wrong, Howard?
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