Inspector Maigret is traveling to the French countryside to visit his friend, the duchess of Saint-Fiacre. She has received a letter recently stating that she will die soon. A few days ... See full summary »
Inspector Maigret is traveling to the French countryside to visit his friend, the duchess of Saint-Fiacre. She has received a letter recently stating that she will die soon. A few days later she does so by an heart attack, but Maigret does not believe in this... Written by
Yes, Delannoy was kicked around quite a bit by those young Cahiers critics, some of whom went on to make stodgy films themselves (if I have to watch another soporific Chabrol "thriller", I may give up movies altogether). Delannoy was a solid craftsman who gave us two blond deities in Jean Marais and Madeleine Sologne (wonderful L'Eternel retour), and the gorgeous, although sightless blue eyes of Michele Morgan in La symphonie pastorale. That picture opened up new vistas of sexuality for me.
But a craftsman can only do so much. There is a lack of focus here, the result of some bad casting. Some of the acting is atrocious: Robert Hirsch as the art expert Sabatier, one of the prime suspects, is always on the verge of hysterics. Michel Vitold as the priest gives off guilty vibes, although he hasn't done anything. Only Valentine Tessier and Michel Auclair, playing mother and son, rise to the occasion. Tessier and Gabin have a delightful scene together at the opening, talking about the old days in their little town. Auclair is especially good as the corrupt heir to a declining fortune; he looks like he stepped out of a Rococo painting.
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