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"Estrapade" (Estrapado) was a horrible torture which I'm not going to
depict here.The word sounds like "escapade" which means " gentle
runaway".And "Rue De L'Escapade " was tailor made for such a movie,for
the wife (A beaming Anne Vernon) ,tired of her husband's (handsome
Louis Jourdan) infidelities ,runs away from marital home and rents a
seedy tiny apartment in the working-class area of the city.
After a masterpiece such as "Casque D'Or" ,one of the peaks of the French cinema,anything would be a let down.Becker did not even try.His "Rue DE L'Estrapade" ,with the exception of his debut ("Dernier Atout" ) was his weakest film then.He was to sink lower with "Arsene Lupin" and his dismal "Ali Baba" -Fernandel in the title role!- before coming up with aces for his final -and perhaps most ambitious- chef d'oeuvre "Le Trou" ,maybe the best prison movie ever done.
"Rue De L'Estrapade" is a curious patchwork:it includes snatches of previous works :the chic world of fashion ("Falbalas" ) ,a little walk in the popular town ("Antoine Et Antoinette" ) Amorous Quarrel ("Edouard Et Caroline" ).If only he had borrowed from his three early major works ("Casque D'Or" ,"Rendez-Vous De Juillet" "Goupi Mains Rouges" ).It's pleasant enough with a nice appearance -at the 46th minute- by Daniel Gelin as a singer short of the readies performing Georges Brassens' lovely "Le Parapluie" .
Fans of Jacques Becker will like it;but a young person who wants to discover this great French director should pick up one of his four towering achievements:"Casque D'or" "Goupi Mains ROuges" "rendezvous De Juillet" and "Le Trou".
NB: a bisexual character (Jean Servais),which was risqué for the time.
Saw 7/19/15 via YouTube. The movie is carried by the acting, production values, music. The only flaw is the lack of a strong script. The scenario multiplies amusing incidents but nothing commensurately big develops. Louis Jourdan's Henri disappears for long stretches. Yet Rue de L'Estrapade is not exactly a "woman's picture", either. Anne Vernon as deceived spouse Francoise has a virtuously tentative encounter with a sexually ambidextrous couturier (Jean Servais); in the Latin Quarter digs she establishes after escaping from her philandering husband she successfully fends off singing bohemian neighbor Robert, played by Becker veteran Daniel Gelin. Thin script and all, there was enough believability in the mix for these great actors to make it work. Maybe the absence of a strong payoff to Francoise's inchoate infidelities adds to the film's sense of authenticity, keeping the performances within the bounds of plausibility. The prettily melodic title music was pleasant to hear in its multiple reappearances throughout the movie. All in all a very pleasant movie. Not quite up to Becker-great, but managing to entertain for over an hour and a half is success enough for me. I would recommend this subtitle-free version to French language students. The soundtrack is clear and the dialogue written just idiomatically enough to remain understandable without descending into argot.
This movie is a superb comedy from the same director of Casque d'or and Le trou. A close friend of Howard Hawks, who helped François Truffaut when interviewing Mr. Hawks for Cahiers du cinèma. A woman notices that her husband has a lover and she decides to leave the house and rents a little room in rue de l'estrapade (estrapade street). The husband tries to get her back but she keeps on her convictions. She looks for a job in a prèt-a-porter shop and she even flirts with another man...but they're still deeply in love with each other. The one line summary is because when the wife rents, the landlord shows her a sort of back-packer and there is no bathroom...so as we used to think about French people, they don't use showers, do they?
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