Pierre Chenal was a minor but interesting director who in the late thirties was the first to transfer to the screen "the postman always rings twice".His masterpiece was "la foire aux chimères" (all Erich Von Stroheim's fans MUST see that work)where he introduced an extraordinary dreamlike atmosphere which we also find in inferior efforts such as " la maison du maltais" or "l'alibi".
"Les jeux dangereux" seems realistic at first sight.Actually ,it's almost as offbeat ,as unusual as the aforementioned films."Game" is the keyword and when he puts the pieces of the jigsaw together again that the private eye realizes that it's a child's game (the water pistol is the best "clue").
A teenage girl (a beautiful Pascale Audret,singer Hugues Aufray's sister, she resembles Audrey Hepburn),whose brother is in jail because he has shot a policeman,tries to get him the best lawyer.So helped by her pack ,she kidnaps an adolescent -poisoned by his mother's protection and whose father is a stingy hateful bourgeois-and they lock him in a cellar.So begins the game which will sometimes verge on tragedy.These youngsters (with the exception of Sami Frey's character,the only one who acts as a "man" so to speak).Everyone plays ,and after all,the victim himself plays the violin,plays cards with his jailer.The adults are not models for them anyway ,being mean like the rich kid's father,his over-possessive mother or the two-bit detective 's embittered wife.
Even the love story between Audret and her prisoner makes sense.And even if this is a rather happy end ,the establishment has won anyway.But the private eye's last words (it's my reward) restore our faith in grown -ups
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