The first to die in an epidemic of meningitis in Vera Cruz is a French tourist. His wife Nellie, detached and indifferent, feels little grief and realizes that her coldness is her own doom.... See full summary »
Rafael E. Portas
Carlos López Moctezuma
On the 100th anniversary of the founding of a watchmaking company in Geneva, Charles Dé the founder's 50-year-old grandson has had it: he speaks eccentrically to a reporter, recognizing his... See full summary »
Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her ... See full summary »
Fabrice del Dongo, a young archbishop, gives his all to romance rather than to the Church, creating complications for everyone around. The Countess of San Severina, is but one of the women ... See full summary »
In Montauban in 1944, Julien Dandieu in a surgeon in the local hospital. Frightened by the German army entering Montauban, he asks his friend Francois to drive his wife and his daughter in ... See full summary »
Captain Edward A. Salisbury (1875-1962) was a noted millionaire explorer and writer, whose exploration stories of the islands of the South Seas Pacific appeared often in "The National ... See full summary »
A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »
Ted de Corsia
From the Louis Hemon novel "M. Ripois and His Nemesis" about Andre Ripois, a philanderer in pursuit of love and riches from Paris to London. Andre is breaking up with his wife, Catherine, ... See full summary »
A flying saucer hidden in a Red Chinese peasant village is sought by teams from the United States and U.S.S.R. On finding it, they band together to explore the saucer and take a trip into ... See full summary »
His sensitive performance as Prince Myshkin in L'IDIOT (1946) had brought international attention, and his performance in THE DEVIL IN THE FLESH (1947) made him a star; with his next two films, LE CHARTREUSE DE PARME (1948) and UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE (1949), Gerard Philipe's position as the premier leading man of French cinema in the post-war period was assured.
Just as PEPE LE MOKO, QUAI DES BRUMES, LA BETE HUMAINE and LE JOUR SE LEVE had established the Jean Gabin persona in the 1930s (what Andre Bazin had termed "the tragic destiny"), so these four films established the Philipe persona, the sensitive young man overwhelmed by destiny. In UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE, the small seaside resort out-of-season, with its fog, its desolation, and its ramshackle buildings, is a perfect setting for this story of lost souls seeking connection and (possible) redemption. Madeleine Robinson, as the young woman working at the inn, is Philipe's counterpart: a sullen girl battered by circumstances who nevertheless is touched by the fragility of the young man. The fact that, on a realistic level, Gerard Philipe does not project the hardened facade of a criminal is rather the point: the point of a star persona. In this case, Philipe's projection of an intensely isolated, even alienated, psyche which defined the existential dilemma that was being defined by writers such as Sartre and Camus in the post-war epoch, was really enshrined in this movie.
Philipe would prove to be a more versatile actor than initially assumed; his humor, his athletic vigor, and his exuberance can be seen in movies like FANFAN LA TULIPE and POT-BOUILLE. But UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE shows Philipe at the apex of his portrayals of tortured youth, a prototype for such stars as Montgomery Clift and James Dean.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?