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Comedy about a naive French country girl in London who helps the war effort by parachuting into German-occupied France to help kidnap an important German general. She bungles through to a heroic finish of plot and counter-plot.
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Vittorio De Sica,
"La femme et le pantin" is the most distressingly mediocre Duvivier film.It was absolutely bland ,not even distinguished by the professionalism that came to stamp his later work.It was exactly his professionalism that provoked the derision of the young Turks of the Nouvelle Vague for whom "carrying on the tradition" was not the road to follow.But when even professionalism is in question,what can be saved?
"La femme et le pantin" found the director lost in the folklore for tourists and hiding behind Brigitte Bardot's sensual body.BB is the only thing worthwhile in the whole movie.She is probably the ideal actress cast in the wrong movie.She is sadly unsupported by a very poor cast:her lover is not even handsome ,her father acts like a zombie and her mother's overplaying is thoroughly unbearable.
This is the third version of Pierre Louïs's novel;for the record,there was also De Baroncelli's (France,1928) ,Von Sternberg's ("The Devil is a Woman" ,US,1935) and Luis Bunuel 's( "Cet Obscur Objet du Desir" France,1977)
Do not get me wrong:I am a big Duvivier fan and I have written more comments on his films than on any other director 's works.This is the only one of which I cannot say something nice.
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