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French filmmaker Rene Clement presents Alan Delon as a petty criminal on the run from the underground. On the Rivera, he seeks refuge in a flophouse whose soup line is served by Jane Fonda and Lola Albright. The two women move him to a Gothic mansion owned by Albright, a millionaires with a Salvation Army complex. Fonda, her cousin, is hot for him and repeatedly attempts to seduce him while someone is attempting to poison him; and his murderous former associates have got wind of his whereabouts. Written by
...only "Plein Soleil" ("Purple noon" -the talented M.Ripley first version- ,a first Delon/Clement collaboration ,is superior.
The director's other thrillers were marred by unbearable metaphysical pretensions ("La Maison Sous les Arbres" " la Course du Lièvre à Travers Champs" "Babysitter" ...)which the use of American actors did not help.
A black and white film ,a strange choice for a story which takes place in a luxury mansion on the Cote d'Azur ,the cinematography is in direct contrast to that of "Plein Soleil" .Whereas the former work was often filmed in open air ,at sea,in "les felins " ,we almost never go out of the Fonda/Albright's place.The screenplay is absorbing ,a la Boileau-Narcejac (who wrote "Diabolique" and "Vertigo" ) and the suspense is sustained throughout the story. (I particularly dig the scenes with the car at the end).
It was actually René Clément's last good movie.All that follows is virtually disposable.
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