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A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in an East Asian port. He's sacked when he's caught stealing, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post.
He is a French taxi driver in Lisbon carrying the scars of a wife's infidelity that ended in tragedy when he found her with his lover upon returning from the war. She is a French woman in trouble with the law and she has a police inspector on her tail. They fall passionately in love, but because of his past he is not able to trust that she is not using him to escape the police. She must choose between escaping with him and remaining under a shroud of doubt or turn herself in to prove that she indeed loves him. Written by
After cutting over 15% of the film's length, Portuguese censors passed the film in 1955, but conservative critics attacked it even so, for lacking production values and showing too much. Manuel Pina wrote: "The word 'love' should not be used relating to this film. Love is not sensuality. In this film, 'to love' means something else, that morality prevents us to speak about." See more »
The beginning of the film ,after a rather ludicrous prologue ,is rather dull.The director ,Henri Verneuil,who is naturally despised (often unfairly) by the "true" connoisseurs of the French cinema (that is to say the N.V. buffs)seems more interested in filming the beautiful landscapes of Portugal and Lisbon or Amalia Rodriguez's Fado.
Actually,the movie grows on you;it is based on a novel by Joseph Kessel ,but it recalls Georges Simenon's psychological suspense.The tortoise pace of the first third is necessary to introduce the three characters : the man (Daniel Gélin)committed a crime of passion ;the woman (Françoise Arnoul) may or may not be responsible for the death of her husband ,killed in a car crash;the private eye (Trevor Howard ,whose French was absolutely perfect:hats off!)plays cat and mouse with both of them: he was hired by the lady's wealthy family-in -law to find pieces of evidence which would prove she's a murderess.His method,which predates that of Colombo is very subtle.
All in all,this is another good movie by Henri Verneuil,the ending of which is not unlike that of "Pepe Le Moko" ,a standard reference work.
NB:Jacques Moulière ,who portrays the little boy,became a pop singer in the sixties (as Jacky Moulière) but his career was never really successful.
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