The son of a French industrialist, Clément is a right wing extremist who belongs to a secret militant right wing organization that uses whatever means necessary, including violence, to ... See full summary »
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Roger Van Hool
1961. Thomas Vlassenroot deserted the French Foreign Legion while fighting in Algeria. His lieutenant, Fraser, initiated the desertion for the two of them, Fraser believing he could do more... See full summary »
The son of a French industrialist, Clément is a right wing extremist who belongs to a secret militant right wing organization that uses whatever means necessary, including violence, to achieve its goals. His wife Anne, a former German actress who gave up her career to be the doting wife, knows somewhat of his extremist views, and suspects he would indeed kill if need be as witnessed by what she finds hidden in their house. He often treats her poorly, especially out in public as she maintains the façade of her former celebrity, which he believes is her acting like a whore. Regardless, she is compelled to stay in the marriage. After he and a right wing colleague assassinate a Communist figure, that assassination which goes slightly awry, Clément and Anne hide out in the country home of Clément's childhood friend, Paul, who knows nothing about Clément's extremist views. Paul is a democrat and pacifist. Clément is forced to leave to pursue a mission, leaving Anne behind. Without Clément, ... Written by
Louis Malle produced the film as a criticism of Jean-Luc Godard and other then-right wing nouvelle vague directors and their support for the French occupation of Algeria and for the OAS and their campaign of terrorism and assassination in mainland France. See more »
This interesting movie was supervised by Louis Malle.
The only weak point of the casting is Romy Schneider who is slightly over-acting. Beautiful B&W camera work and music. Directing work is directly influenced by Robert Bresson (LES DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE ; UN CONDAMNE A MORT S'EST ECHAPPÉ) & Louis Malle (ASCENSEUR POUR L'ÉCHAFAUD ; LE FEU FOLLET) : distant, "fire under the ice" style, sharp, precise, contained. The story is quite intelligent (an right-wing anti-communist idealist militant betrayed by his chief after a political assassination attempt + love story in which Romy Schneider is torn apart between him and his left-wing childhood friend : they will "fight in the island" to death, using Walther P-38 pistols) and time treatment managed by the editing work is superior art. One of the best movies made in France by the 1960's but it is necessary, when screening it, to not miss one sequence, even a short one, in order to be able to enjoy the subtle atmosphere construction. To be fully understood, this movie requires you to be aware of the political situation of France at that time.
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