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Jean Delannoy ,as any French cine buff knows it,was the main Bete Noire of the Nouvelle Vague .But do not get me wrong ,I like many of his movies ,at least a dozen Of them ,but it was before 1965 ;after "Les Amitiés Particulières " -his last good effort- ,all that he made was abysmal."Les Sultans " was an obnoxious macho flick whereas "Le Soleil Des Voyous" was another thriller in which Gabin paired up with Robert Stack to no avail.
If these were bad ,"La Peau De Torpedo " was worse ,a dreadful two-bit spy thriller where the actors ,left to their own devices ,seem to be sleepwalkers;Stephane Audran,then Claude Chabrol's wife (and making with him some of the best movies of her career),seems lost in this part of a woman unaware of what her hubby (Frederic De Pasquale) does behind her back.Highly talented Lili Palmer keeps a low profile and underacts ,probably the wisest thing to do in a movie in which Germans (Palmer and Kinski) speak French between them:that does not show respect for the audience!the long silent scene in which De Pasquale steals the secret documents may indicate that Delannoy was influenced by Melville .
To a young person who would like to discover Delannoy -if there are any left-I'd say :take "l'Eternel Retour" "Dieu A Besoin Des Hommes" or "Les Jeux Sont Faits" ;if you want to know how skillful he was when he tackled thrillers ,pick up "obsession" or "Maigret Tend Un Piège":you will be rewarded.
For Heaven's sake ,don't you watch this limp cloak and dagger dud or else you might think that the N.W. was right to put Delannoy down.In this case ,they were.
Like this?try these .....
"La Totale" Claude Zidi
"True Lies" ,James Cameron (remake of the previous)
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