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On Trial (1954)

L'affaire Maurizius (original title)
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Léonard Maurizius
Elisabeth Maurizius
Eleonora Rossi Drago ...
Anna Jahn (as Eleonara Rossi-Drago)
Grégoire Waremme
Wolf Andergast
Berthe Bovy ...
La grand-mère (as Berthe Bovy de la Comédie Française)
Denis d'Inès ...
Pierre - Paul Maurizius (as Denis D'Ines de la Comédie Française)
Claude Arlay
Pierre Asso ...
Le maître-chanteur
Paola Borboni ...
Mme Bobika
Jane Faber ...
La gouvernante
Jim Gérald ...
Le professeur
Harry-Max ...
Palau ...
Le conseiller (as Pierre Palau)
Sandro Ruffini


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Release Date:

4 June 1954 (France)  »

Also Known As:

On Trial  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Jacques Chabassol attempts to find justice for Daniel Gélin
31 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Young and idealistic Jacques Chabassol becomes interested in a homicide case in which his father, Charles Vanel, was prosecutor, sending an innocent man, Daniel Gélin, to prison for the past 18 years. Gélin is Maurizius. He married an older woman with money, Madeleine Robinson, thinking it love but finding this was not so when he met her sister, Eleonora Rossi Drago. The latter was the object of conquest of Anton Walbrook who had a mysterious hold on her even though she did not love him and her hidden affections went out to Gélin. Robinson was shot to death and Gélin convicted, based heavily on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of Walbrook. Chabassol investigates and even gets the hidebound and domineering Vanel to look into the matter again.

From these elements of a novel by Jakob Wassermann, Julien Duvivier creates a very bleak noir. Chabassol will have nothing less than justice but is told by Walbrook in a series of dark reflections on life that humanity doesn't want justice. Where is justice in concentration camps, he asks.

The story of what happened in the past unfolds through flashbacks and even a flashback within a flashback. It is a story of passions largely uncontrolled that erode any chance of happiness. Dreams become wrecked flotsam tossed in unexpected directions by the turbulence of hidden emotional seas pulling and pushing in crossed directions.

I quote Sam Rohdie in "Julien Duvivier: Love Unto Death": "The escapees and exiles who populate Duvivier's films, though having apparently escaped destiny, are pursued by it and end (as in the Gabin vehicles) haunted and destroyed by it. There is no turning back for these characters to what they once had been nor to where they had been; nor is there any possibility for them to move forward, to liberate themselves from the past – as if caught between, in a limbo betwixt past and present, memory and actuality, reality and the fantastic, reality and dream, here and elsewhere, this love and that."

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