After having spent all his money to fullfill the smallest wish of his wife Dora, Robert is still madly in love with her. Now, she is at agony, and her mother comes. She will reveal to ... See full summary »
After having spent all his money to fullfill the smallest wish of his wife Dora, Robert is still madly in love with her. Now, she is at agony, and her mother comes. She will reveal to Robert how he has been fooled. Through some flashbacks, we will see the story through Robert's or his mother-in-law's eyes. A very misogynous movie... Written by
The substantive "Manèges" in French has three meanings:a merry-go-round,a ring(where you practice horse-riding),and ploys.The last two meanings can be applied to Allégret's movie.It does take place in a ring and hateful people are making ploys . Bernard Blier owns the ring,he's a naïve meek man,not the handsome guy women can dream of.Enter Simone Signoret -in one of her most satanic parts-:abetted by a mother (played by a remarkable Jeanne Marken)she marries the poor lad,who believes she loves him,and then the plot will become as ruthless as it can be. Signoret's portrayal is extraordinary,and easily matches her sensational roles in "les diaboliques" or "Room at the top":emptying her hubby's pockets ,lying lazily on her bed ,horse-riding in the woods,stalking rich preys among chic clients of the "manège"(because Blier is only a stage on her way to social elevation),or laughing at Blier behind his back,with her mother's strident chuckles which come back as a sinister leitmotiv.She does not realize she remains a rather vulgar woman,and the posh people she sees in her husband's ring cannot be fooled."Your perfume will always be horse-manure!",the stable -lad,her lover,tells her. Signoret's mother (Marken) is an evildoer to a fault:she acts with her daughter as a madam .Her charms must provide her with money and respectability. The movie is masterfully constructed,using flashbacks,now Blier's memories,now Marken's ones.The ending is so black that the viewer ,after this "horse-manure" atmosphere,needs a breath of fresh air.Film noir buffs,do not miss this gem!
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