Originally, this subject was offered by the Hakim brothers, who produced it, to Jean-Luc Godard to direct. Godard was anxious to sign Richard Burton for the leading role, but failed and then dropped out of the project. The Hakims instead obtained the services of another Welsh actor, Stanley Baker, who insisted on them hiring his friend Joseph Losey to direct. See more »
This film is oh so 60's that it is as much a time capsule as La Dolce Vita. The clothes, hair styles, make up, and attitudes all date this film. Even the furnishings scream `period piece'.
If you don't mind spending good money watching Jeanne Moreau strike one pose after another while wearing heavy eyeliner and false eyelashes, then this is for you. If there was a story I missed it although the theme did seem to be half decent man ruined by infatuation with femme fatale. The action takes place in Venice in the winter - no tourists, no pigeons and very bleak.
As far I could tell the action comprised Ms. Moreau strutting into a room with her hair done up trailing her fur coat behind her, lighting a cigarette, turning around blowing smoke and we see her face in close up. This scene is repeated throughout with a variation when she unpins her hair and shakes it loose, or brushes it. She also lights up before going to bed at night after hugging the cat , or maybe she lit up before hugging the cat. Maybe she gave the cat a smoke too. Stanley Baker was the man who became besotted by her although if I got it right, she despised him. Virna Lisi was his sweet little betrayed wife. Jeanne Moreau, cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth, posed in various couture gowns in a casino, night club, parties and smoked heavily throughout. Until the film ended.
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