From 1769 to 1821, Napoléon Bonaparte's life, loves and exceptional destiny but as seen through the eyes of Talleyrand, the cynic and ironic politician, who once was the Emperor of France's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme ... See full summary »
"Le Dabe" retired many years ago and now he lives in the Tropics where he owns stables and horses. He is a very rich man. He was the king of all money counterfeiters. He is contacted from ... See full summary »
Lucien Bourrache, a good looking non-commissioned officer at the Spahis, is used to charm many women. He met Madeleine Courtois at Cannes. She is beautiful and lives in luxury. He lends her... See full summary »
Gloomy and without concessions, this film definitely won't make you happier after watching it, but it's so well made you will probably get into the plot, even with the slow pace and naif styling common in 50's French cinema.
Of course Gabin is a "good guy", tired, tough, but ultimately fair. Even if he's constantly showing he's tired of the job, being badly paid, quite impatient, etc. Needlessly, he steals the movie. The young stars don't disappoint. Maybe Francis is a bit too slick for the age, being sort of a natural leader who never misses a cue. Alain's ingenuity is believable, and that's quite a feat for a child actor. Sylvette is also right on track as the "beautiful working class bitter heroine". The prostitute step mum's treatment is also an interesting character, given she's never given moral lessons or shown "what happens to those people", unlike other films of the epoch. Finally, as usual, no "accompanying music" and a "minimalist" in the sense of austere décor aid for this film's oppressive feeling you get while watching it.
IMDb's pro reviewer "Dumnteil" is accurate as usual when comparing it favourably with the way more famous "400 coups". Enjoy!
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