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This is not a particularly well known movie among the anglophone crowd but it is definitely very advanced for its year of production, 1958. Yvette Maudet ("maudit" means accursed in French) as portrayed by Bardot is a constantly split personality that seems utterly unable to decide whether she wants the wealthy but old and not overly attractive Gabin or the young and handsome, but poor, Gaston. The way she enlists the services of Gabin as her lawyer is memorable and the scene so graphic and far ahead of its time that it was cut!
Curvaceous 22-year-old blonde Bardot is to die for but it is Gabin that carries the film with a masterly performance. Look out for Feuillere in role of Gabin's wife. She is apparently liberal and allows the affair to unfold and develop in the belief that her husband will eventually come back and she will remain in control of the marriage. Watch how she puts away her glasses when he comes into her bedroom so she looks more attractive to him... even though she knows she cannot compete with the much younger and voluptuous BB. Watch her loyalty to her husband as she sees him run after the mirage of young and callously carefree beauty, and she sees his business collapse and begin to affect her own life.
There is more: There is the extremely competent direction, an engrossing screenplay, and bewitching photography from director Autant-Lara and his team. It provides no happy end but this film has so much to offer that I can only encourage you to not miss it, dear reader.
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