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José Luis Sáenz de Heredia
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Gian Maria Volontè,
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The unscrupulous intrigues of Charles Denner make him a top industrialist
My opinion of "The Truth on the Savolta Affair" differs drastically from its current 5.6 IMDb rating. I consider this film a truly excellent portrayal of unscrupulous Machiavellian intrigues and manipulations, and therefore of real world political intrigues and practices. I cannot think of another movie that more realistically and with equal detail and thoroughness shows us from start to finish a campaign of lying and manipulation conducted by one man, with his hired help, in order to achieve his goals.
Charles Denner plays the Machiavellian character with the name Lepprince, after Machiavelli's famous book "The Prince".
At first, he seems on the side of the angels and anxious to do what is for the general good in his chosen area, which is as a French contractor for arms manufactured by a Spanish factory during World War I. This factory has labor problems and potential strike problems. There is strong socialist sentiment that is anti-capitalist and there is also anarchist sentiment, which ran strong in Spain at the time. Denner has come to the factory in person and, witnessing the labor troubles, appears anxious to smooth them over by making concessions and without violence.
But his game is far more ambitious than that. By the end of the movie, he has arranged a dizzying set of manipulations of the several players, which include the factory owner, his general manager, a writer on the anarchist and worker side, an anarchist spy in the managerial office, and a factotum in that office. This is a man who quickly sizes up people's characters and weaknesses and devises persuasive stories that get them to further his intentions. He is a master political liar and maneuverer.
There is, I believe, a category of noir films that may be termed political noir, usually involving such intrigues, double-crosses, and manipulations in various contexts, be they business, criminal enterprises, churches, entertainment, the press, universities, armed forces, bureaucracies or governments. No organization is immune to these political doings. Examples include "The Godfather", "The Godfather 2", "The Best Man", "A Ciascuno Il Suo", "The Confession" or "L'aveu", "I as in Icarus", "L'attentat", "State of Siege", and "Sacco e Vanzetti". Some like "Z" and "Missing" have the politics somewhat more in the background. Yves Montand and Gian Maria Volonte have specialized in this kind of film.
This picture belongs in this category of political noir.
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