Set in Quebec before WWII, a French-Canadian soldier nicknamed Tit-Coq (literally meaning "Little Rooster") is depressed over his illegitimate birth, a fact he can't seem to forget. A romance with the lovely young Marie-Ange changes everything for him until he's called upon to fight in the war. Marie-Ange promises to wait for him until the war is over but after many long and lonely months she succumbs to pressure from her family and marries an old admirer, the wealthy Leoplod Vermette. Tit-Coq returns home after the end of the war and is angry, bitter, and hurt over what has happened. He sets out to reclaim Marie-Ange, who is still in love with him. Written by
MANY SPOILERS The movie is based on a play and it shows,even in the scenes outside Canada.
This is a gripping melodrama in spite of its conventional directing ;"Tit Coq" (=Lil' rooster) was born Under a bad sign :he is an orphan,and what is worse (at the time ),an illegitimate child.The key to the movie is the Xmas celebration,complete with midnight mass (with a choir singing " IL Est Né Le Divin Infant"),followed by the traditional Réveillon (meal) and games (forfeit)and dances .Tit Coq ,a guest in his soldier mate's house realizes all that he's missing : a whole family ;when he falls in love with his chum's cousin ,he wants them to be chaste till the wedding which would take place when he returned from war for the two soldiers are sent to Europa.
The beloved fiancée ,Marie-Ange ,would like to wait for this sincere man ,but her family is urging her to marry a buck .When he returns from war,the unfortunate soldier meets again a married woman ,who does not love her handsome husband .She's about to walk out on her husband ,but the military chaplain -who ,from the very beginning of the story ,shows the straight and narrow to the private- ,prevents her from leaving her home ;he's got a sledgehammer argument in that context: should they start over in another town ,or another country ,their son would be a bastard and her family would turn away from them.Tit Coq's tragedy would repeat and would lead both of them to despair.
Closer to French melodrama than to American style,Tit Coq sometimes recall some of Jean Gabin's characters in the thirties.Writer/director Gratien Gélinas ,who plays the character he created ,is less handsome than the French star but he is as moving as him .And he perfectly conveys his hero's drama: in a society based on the family , an orphan has really got a raw deal:a message which is still relevant today.
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