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According to the Cahiers Du Cinema theory,Gilles Grangier was a
mediocre director ,cause he did not "innovate" .These hackneyed ideas
do not stand up to hindsight.Cause Grangier did innovate in this movie:
1)He begins his movie with the end of a play ,with all the actors
bowing to the audience! 2) The subject is eternal,still relevant
today:a stage actor (Daniel Gelin)who generally plays secondary
characters was a witness in a gangland killing.For him,opportunity
knocks:he becomes a celebrity overnight and is given the great parts he
has always been dreaming of.
3)But this nice guy is perhaps not so nice.Might it be perjury? 4)The lines the actor delivers on stage ,he could as well say them in real life ,now that the gangster he sent to jail escaped and told him he would die within three days.
Essentially a psychological thriller,where the gangsters work behind the scenes,"Trois Jours A Vivre" is a nice little flick.
"Trois jours à vivre" (1957) is a different kind of film noir, one that
is set in the world of the stage and its backstage, but one that mixes
that world and the world outside it so thoroughly that they merge.
Daniel Gélin is a secondary actor in a traveling company who witnesses a murder. He identifies Lino Ventura as the killer and Ventura goes to jail for 20 years, vowing both his innocence and revenge upon Gélin.
Gélin is advantaged by the publicity, securing his advance to a feature position. Jeanne Moreau and he are lovers, she being a steadying influence on an actor subject to fits of jealousy, spite and insecurity. Their world is tossed upside down when Ventura escapes after 6 months and Gélin fears for his life after Ventura phones him and tells him he has but three days to live.
The consequences of Ventura's vendetta and Gélin's attempts to blunt it play out in unexpected ways as the film ramps up its noir credentials. Along the way, the love of Moreau and Gélin is put to tests as are Gélin's courage/cowardice and his devotion.
This noir requires some patience. It's rather static and dialog dense. Much of the dialog is taken up with stage rivalries. Important action occurs out of sight. However, the intertwined realities and lines delivered by Gélin enrich the story. His character is built in great detail, and Gélin's performance is top-notch. Moreau's role adds very greatly to the story as well, and her acting matches Gélin's in quality. Ventura's presence in the last half of the movie is another very big plus. The patience pays off.
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