The first to die in an epidemic of meningitis in Vera Cruz is a French tourist. His wife Nellie, detached and indifferent, feels little grief and realizes that her coldness is her own doom.... See full summary »
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The first to die in an epidemic of meningitis in Vera Cruz is a French tourist. His wife Nellie, detached and indifferent, feels little grief and realizes that her coldness is her own doom. Over the next two days, she is attracted to George, a local drunk who does odd jobs for brothels and dances grotesquely for tourists in exchange for drinks. George has his own dark secret, a tragedy he caused that leaves him with a death wish. In assisting the local doctor to cope with the epidemic, these two emotional cripples enable each other to rediscover reasons to live and to love. Written by
Allegret reached his peak in 1947-1949 with "Dédée d' Anvers" "une si jolie petite plage" and "manèges".Afterwards,his works became either disastrous ("la jeune folle" ) or academic (Zola's "Germinal")."Les orgueilleux" is a notable exception.Gerard Philippe's over the top portrayal of an always drunk deposed doctor is impressive.Michèle Morgan has never been so sensual.But what matters is the sultry moist atmosphere.Michèle Morgan is sweating throughout the whole movie.Very few things happen after Morgan's husband's death,but the depiction of a Mexican one-horse town during the Holy week is awesome.One could draw a parallel(almost bunuelian) between the Passion and Morgan's sentimental life:death on Good Friday of what she thought was the love of her life;resurrection on Easter day on the beach when she realizes she's found true love.
Yves Allégret was extraordinary when it came to making you FEEL what his characters endure:so strong the pictures are that we're hot,we sweat as much as them.He did the same in "une jolie petite plage" where the rain never stopped falling.Maybe he learned his lesson from Victor Sjostrom(Seastrom) who could make us feel" the wind" ,and in a silent movie at that.
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