Angelo, a glass-blower from Murano, and Georgia Maglia, the pretty daughter of a fallen fascist magistrate, are chosen to be the stand-ins for the stars of a film version of "Romeo and ... See full summary »
Angelo, a glass-blower from Murano, and Georgia Maglia, the pretty daughter of a fallen fascist magistrate, are chosen to be the stand-ins for the stars of a film version of "Romeo and Juliet" being shot on location in Venice and Verona. It is not long before they fall in love and their romance parallels that of Shakespeare's timeless heroes. Indeed their union is threatened by the schemings of Raffaele, the Maglia family's dubious tout... Written by
But long before Truffault released his "oeuvre".And much better at that.The precedent user was absolutely right when he said that the new wave overshadowed the great French cinema that was thriving in the decade before.When he was a journalist,Truffaut panned Cayatte's movies and nevertheless,one of his movies (and one of his most famous:"day for night -la nuit américaine(1973)) came directly from a Cayatte work.
And first of all,Serge Reggiani is much more exciting an actor than the abominable Jean-Pierre Leaud.But let's forget "day for night".
With a great script by Jacques Prévert who brilliantly wrote for Carné ,and featuring some of Carné's favorite thespians (Reggiani was in "les portes de la nuit" ,Pierre Brasseur and Louis Salou,in the glorious "les enfants du paradis")along with future stars (Martine Carol and Anouk Aimée),"les amants de Verone" uses the stunning technique "the movie in the movie" .Whereas "les enfants du paradis" dealt with the connection theater/life ,"les amants de Verone" does the same for cinema/life.And Cayatte's directing is remarkable ,as is Henri Alekan's cinematography (the movie begins with a close-up on a glass object in a glass-blowers ' workshop and ends with a stagehand closing a door).Prevert's permanent features are all here:real love ,pure love ,true love (Aimée and Reggiani) against the ba****ds which do not understand it;and there's a gallery of weirdoes worthy of "quai des brumes" (1938)here:a shady con man (Brasseur) ,a mean prosecutor(Salou),two killers (with a nod at Laurel and Hardy)and a "nurse-matron- who takes care of Georgia/Juliet.Because,you get the picture,it's the story of Romeo and Juliet which they film in the movie and they live in the movie too.(check the title)
"Les amants de Verone" is the last movie of Cayatte's first era.Afterward,he began to champion all the good causes and was ironically -and unfairly- nicknamed "the lawyer of cinema"by Truffaut.With hindsight,this evolution was predictable,and there are elements in "les amants de Verone". The first scenes display social concerns but it's Louis Salou's character who probably showed the way to the director:this prosecutor used to keep,before he retired ,all the fag ends of the last cigarettes of the persons he sentenced to death in an ebony box!And one of the last scenes looks like a trial,the omen of a very long string of movies such as "justice est faite" and "avant le déluge".All these movies,mainly the works made in the fifties were not that bad,even if Cayatte peaked with "les amants de Vérone"
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