Maurice Cloche has not a good reputation in his native France.Now and then,however,in his career,some works stand out and show the good director he could have been;his adaptation of Daudet's "Le Petit Chose" was a good surprise.In 1947,abetted by Pierre Fresnay on top form,he released a memorable "Monsieur Vincent''(De Paul).
"Monsieur Vincent" already displayed spiritual concerns which would emerge again,for worse ("Les Filles De Nuit" ) or for better (this movie).
"Monsieur Vincent " was a revolutionary ,his life was devoted to the poor,he was not part of the high clergy who would live in luxury.Peppino ,the endearing Young hero of this beautiful fable,although he is a priest's friend ,is not understood by the almighty clergy:his donkey is ill,and he does believe that Saint Francis Of Assisi (Peppino lives in Assisi)can cure his pet. After all,He did heal his pal's kitten (the two boys are adorable);but to get a donkey into a crypt comes against a refusal .Nevertheless, the boy "never takes no for an answer" and he will walk all the way to Rome to see the holy father.
The story might seem trite in the beginning,but it grows on you and gets better and better till a final which avoids the usual cliché (pay attention to the boy's and the priest's last conversation:the conclusion makes sense ) Memorable scenes :
-Saint Francis celebration when all the children gather in the crypt.
-The "crying " statue.
-The boy running in the corridors of the Vatican and the multiple echo of the voices .
-The discovery of the "treasure",which tends to show that these men of God have nor really renounced worldly goods ,with the exception of the brat's chum.
In Cloche's uneven career,it is really a small miracle in itself.I recommend it to my compatriots.
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