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Vittorio De Sica,
I didn't expect much from this one, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Gabin plays very well, and Bardot manages to be uncomplicatedly sexy. Her character is smart but lacking formal education (much like Bardot herself, I've often felt), and she shows us she can burn up the screen. Pulling an armed robbery with an accomplice, then trying to seduce Gabin so that he'll agree to be her lawyer--she never turns a hair on her beautiful blonde head.
The two principals are surrounded by superb actors. Edwige Feuillere, after making L'Aigle a deux tetes and Le ble en herbe, had become the grande dame of French cinema (sort of what Meryl Streep is for us now) and here she is superb as the resourceful wife who is fairly sure she can deal with the threat posed by Bardot. Franco Interlenghi gives a deft performance as the young lover Mazetti--tough, a little vulgar, not willing to give Bardot up.
Autant-Lara had to make a concession to 50's morality when dealing with Yvette's sexuality. Simenon shows us she is bisexual and very easy with her affections with the maid Janine as well as with the two men in her life. On screen we see very little of this: the censors could be happy.
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