Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his ... See full summary »
An adaptation of Abbe Prevost's classic French novel 'Manon Lescaut', updated to post-World War II France, in which a former French Resistance activist rescues Manon from villagers who want... See full summary »
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Industrialist Pierre Verdier kills his mistress Jeanne Ancelin by throwing her off a train. Her husband, Ancelin, decides to take revenge on his wife's murderer, who has been acquitted by ... See full summary »
Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark,... See full summary »
Fred, the nephew of a senator,has murdered a Black man on a train. The two only witnesses are Lizzie McKay, a prostitute from New York, and Sidney, a colored man. Fred decides to seduce ... See full summary »
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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