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Gilles Grangier was never looked upon as an auteur and a lot of his sixties movies are really bad.But the fifties display a more interesting choice of movies:Bertrand Tavernier, a famous FRench director and a very demanding critic, admires "le sang à la tête " , "gasoil" and "le désordre et la nuit",the latter being probably his best work.
"125 rue Montmartre" ,more a Boileau-Narcejac("Diabolique" )detective story style than a true film noir,is quite entertaining ,and ,given the stranglehold the nouvelle vague began to have on the French cinema,it's almost a breath of fresh air.Although by no means a nouvelle vague movie,by a long shot (there were detective films among the nouvelle vague movies,"ascenseur pour l'échaffaud" is a prominent example,"a bout de soufflé" is another one),it shares with the young Turks a shooting on location,in the streets of Paris,with its bistros,its newspaper sellers and even its large impressive houses.
The first part introduces the leads:Ventura is a newspaper seller, a loud-mouth who does not stop talking,particularly when he's eating;Hirsh is his contrary: a nervous man,on the verge of madness ,who seems to be in jeopardy.His wife,he says ,tries to drive him insane to latch on to his valuable properties.But are thing really what they seems? Pretty soon,Ventura realizes he's framed.There's a very good supporting cast including Jean Desailly as an astute cop,Andréa Parisy,Dora Doll,and Alfred Adam.
The climax of the movie remains the scenes in the circus where suddenly Grangier stops his narration to focus on a clown act which segues into an impressive ending,which could make any B movie director proud.
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