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Juju, a drunken oaf who feels the need of being important to someone---anyone---and his friend, an artist, are forced at gunpoint to care for a fugitive, Peirre Barbier, in Juju's broken-down home. The urge for being needed is such in Juju that he gives up drinking and takes care of Pierre, even after he learns that Pierre has been making love to Maria, the girl Juju loves. Plans are made for Pierre's escape, and Maria is to join him over her father's protests. Marua steals money from her father and begs Juju to take it to Pierre. When Juju finds that Pierre plans to double-cross Maria, he kills him. Juju takes the money to his artist-friend, he tells him to return it to Maria, as coming from Pierre, so she won't think she has been betrayed. Juju returns to drinking and being a drunk. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw Porte des Lilas, called The Gates of Paris in English, back in 1957 - fresh out of high school fascinated with foreign films, especially of the French and Italians. Maybe because I was an awkward and romantic teenager myself, I must have related to the awkward and romantic Juju, the oafish man in love with the beautiful girl, frustrated by her mis-directed love for the deceitful but charismatic hoodlum. Clair was a wonderful filmmaker, and I have always remembered this film vividly. It was Paris and romance and danger to me.
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