In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests ... See full summary »
A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (... See full summary »
Boudu, a tramp, jumps into the Seine. He is rescued by Mr Lestingois, a gentle and good bookseller, who gives shelter to him. Mrs Lestingois and the maid Anne-Marie (Mr Lestingois' mistress... See full summary »
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Three teenage girls are living in Bengal (India) near a big river : Harriet is the oldest child of a big family of English settlers. Valerie is the unique daughter of an American industrialist. Melanie has an American father and an Indian mother. One day, a man arrives. He will be the first love of the three girls. Written by
Esmond Knight, who plays the one-eyed Father, did actually lose his eye in the war, during the battle to sink the Bismark. He served on the Prince of Wales, and later starred as the Captain of the Prince of Wales in the film Sink the Bismarck! (1960). See more »
The position of Captain John's hand changes when he is on the ground (at around 59 mins). See more »
This... being together... in the garden. All of us happy, and you with us here, I didn't want it to change... and it's changed. I didn't want it to end... and it's gone. It was like something in a dream. Now you've made it real. I didn't want to be real.
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It's difficult to argue with Gabridl's remarks about the film - and I'm sure Renoir would have pleaded guilty as charged. Of not making a civics lesson. So, if that's what you want out of art, then this is not the film for you. At all. You will learn nothing of Indian politics, the "exoticism" will drive you mad, and you'd do better to go back and re-read Said's "Orientalism," as Gabridl suggests.
Renoir went to India, and made a film from the perspective of an entranced outsider looking in, creating his own, personalized world - not India, but Renoir's world, where everything is transitory, including beauty and death, and where every sight and sound becomes that much more precious.
I am glad that we have come so far since I've been a kid, when so many ideas and prejudices carried over from the colonial era were still floating through the air, and it's true that no one except that most naive among us would make a film like THE RIVER today. But Renoir was alive in 1950, not now, and he made his film for his time, and that time attaches itself to the film, just like it does to every artwork. I doubt that even Gabridl would suggest that it was the work of a craven exploiter of the masses, and that its "faults" are not the faults of a corrupt man, but of a generous and compassionate one. It's one of the most generous films I know of.
Finally, I would add that while this is a film made by a westerner for other westerners, it was certainly inspirational to Satyajit Ray, who worked as Renoir's assistant.
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