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Michel Racine is a feared president of Assize Court, as strict with himself as with others. Everything changes when he meets again Ditte when she's selected as a juror in a criminal trial over which he presides.
Sidse Babett Knudsen,
Jacques Decrey, an industrialist, finds out that his wife Gloria has a lover. Posing as a man named Berthier, he blackmails her. After a while, Decrey decides to make Yves Normand, a young unemployed actor and Gloria's lover, out to be the blackmailer. But doing so he has set off an infernal machine... Written by
Released at the same time as "ascenseur pour l'échafaud" ,both featuring the same actress (Jeanne Moreau),but unlike Louis Malle's work,not labelled "nouvelle vague" "le dos au mur" has enough assets to catch the viewer's attention:outside Moreau,a screenplay adapted from a Frederic Dard 's Novel,with an action packed ending,and the desperate mood we find in every Dard-inspired film noir :such Moreau lines as "I could not live without him anymore,but I could not stand life without him "is the hero's only solace before his fate is sealed.
Gerard Oury who would direct such French blockbusters as "le corniaud" (1964) and "la grande vadrouille" (1966) is not much of an actor and his part should have been given to Robert Hossein,the par excellence Dard actor.Besides ,the screenplay which uses the long flashback one more time(one too many) laboriously progresses in the first half,with a much too slow pace.Worth a try all the same.
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