I have always thought that Marc Allégret was less interesting than his brother Yves.Unlike him,he never made a truly memorable movie .
This adaptation of the English classic novel is enjoyable enough ,thanks to the cast:Danielle Darrieux can play (she is still playing in 2010!) anything so she is quite credible as an aristocrat;Leo Genn was an excellent Cliffords Chatterley ;the problem is that the movie is French,and although he is fluent in the Moliere Language ,he is the only one in the movie to have a British accent ,which is downright embarrassing! Another big mistake is the atmosphere of the so-called "pub" which is by no means English and looks like any French bistro/café .Erno Crisa ,who plays Oliver,has fallen into oblivion at least in France:I cannot even remember another movie he is in.
The plot is faithful to the novel,the lines are crude for the time (1955)but of course the pictures are rather chaste ,and they sharply contrast with the would be torrid passion.The Catholic Office wrote that it's just because the love scenes "were rather cold" that "they did not forbid their flock the movie" But they quickly added that such a filthy subject was to blame.What else could they do? Seen today,the movie seems tame and harmless,we have seen worse since !The other versions including nudity galore (see Just Jaeckin's "opus" 1981 )have made Marc Allégret's effort obsolete.To think that in 1934 ,in "Le Lac Aux Dames" he was not afraid to show a topless lady in a bed!
See it for Mrs Darrieux!
To my knowledge,it was the first time the novel had been transferred to the screen;it was banned in the US.
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