In an open-air dance hall, the members of Leca's gang are relaxing with their ladies. One of them, Marie, aka "Casque d'Or" (Golden Helmet) meets Manda, a carpenter. Her man Roland belongs ... See full summary »
Edouard is a pianist, married with Caroline. This evening, they are invited to Claude's. Claude is the snobbish uncle of Caroline, his son Alain (as snobbish as his father) is in love with ... See full summary »
Working class couple Antoine and Antoinette dream of a better life. In the midst of constantly fending off the unwanted attention of men, especially the grocer Monsieur Roland, Antoinette ... See full summary »
Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only ... See full summary »
While Henri Laurent speeds along on the racing circuits, his pretty wife Françoise goes from luxury boutique to luxury boutique with her best friend Denise. One day, Denise lets her know ... See full summary »
Rich oriental lord Cassim's cheeky servant Ali Baba was sent to buy a meaty girl-slave, but brings dancer Morgiane, whom he is enamored with. When he's part of a caravan robbed by Abdel's ... See full summary »
Another missing link between the patriarchs and the overrated new wave.But this one is unique:nothing had been done before ,and a lot of directors tried to imitate it later ,to no avail.
This movie cannot be taken out of context :it has to be considered at once. in its era and in Becker's work.
1949,just after the war,it's the rise of a new youth ,who is still enthusiast and who has almost nothing to do with the blasé characters of the 1960 generation (Claude Chabrol's "les cousins" ,particularly Jean-Claude Brialy's part).Daniel Gélin and Brigitte Auber epitomize this soif de vivre ,and their optimism -almost absent in the nouvelle vague works- is quite infectious :the audience sides with them from the first line.It's really a brand new world they want to build and it's not a matter of chance if Gelin gives up the father's company and looks for broader horizons:ethnography in Africa.Old Europa is a thing of the past.
Becker had made four movies,but now the first is forgotten and impossible to find.So "Goupi Mains Rouges" -one of his very best and which too many people overlook-,"falbalas" and "Antoine et Antoinette". The latter movie and its follow-up (this movie) have strong analogies:both describe the fulfillment of a dream,even if the first one takes place in a working-class milieu whereas "Rendez-vous" depicts a bourgeois -not meant pejoratively- youth.In "Antoine et Antoinette" ,the hero wins at the French national lottery,then lost his wallet in which...(it showed a René Clair influence ("le million" 1931),but it has stood the time much better than Clair's thirties works)
Filmed on location in the streets of Paris,it paved a reliable royal way for the nouvelle vague,but its charms are more pristine and more delightful than these of Godard and co.No smugness,no self-consciousness,and a strong screenplay -which will often lack in the works of the nouvelle vague young Turks-,and no contempt for the directors who came before (as the René Clair and Jean Grémillon ("le ciel est à vous" 1943)influences testify).The female star Brigitte Auber had another strong part in the marvelous but much less optimistic Duvivier's "sous le ciel de Paris" ,then worked with Hitchcock (in a minor film though:"to catch a thief" and then got lost in mediocrities.Another Brigitte had taken her place .
Optimism will continue in the follow-up "Edouard et Caroline" (1951) and "rue de l'estrapade" (1953)(both movies featuring Gélin too)but will finally come to an end with "touchez pas au grisbi"(1954) :maybe for the characters who are older (Gabin) it's too late.Becker's final masterwork "le trou" will be pessimism flesh on the bone, a terrifying death metaphor.
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