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Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ... See full summary »
A group of travelers, including a monk, stay in a lonely inn in the mountains. The host confesses the monk his habit of serving poisoned soup to the guests, to rob their possessions and to ... See full summary »
In Paris in 1887, Irène works as a governess to Douce, the grand-daughter of the dowager Countess de Bonafé. Douce believes she is in love with Fabien, the handsome manager of the estate. ... See full summary »
The international title is "the stream" but it's a mistranslation;"le ruisseau" means here "the gutter" where all the bad gals finally end :needless to say ,we deal with melodrama in all its splendor.
But good melodrama.I had seen the movie about ten years ago,and I watched it again yesterday with the same pleasure.Lehmann was working with the young Autant-Lara at the time:they produced at least one memorable flick:the hilarious "fric frac" and its marvelous actors Fernandel,Arletty and Michel Simon.
Michel Simon,one of the five best actors France ever had,is also part of the cast of "le Ruisseau" ;other actors include Françoise Rosay ,playing an over possessive mother (a part tailor-made for her:see Feyder's "Pension Mimosas" ),Ginette Leclerc (famous for her bad gals part ;here she nevertheless plays a big-hearted whore)and Gaby Silvia (a sensitive delicate actress who never got the parts she deserved on the silver screen and had to be a stage actor ;her best part was in Jacqueline Audry's "Huis Clos" in which she was not overshadowed by Arletty,quite a feat!) Girl escaping from orphanage takes refuge on a boat where she meets handsome young officer:love at first sight.The boy having to stay on his ship for a long voyage tells his friend to go and see his mum ,a famous chanteuse who lives in Paris.Alas,the Lady is not prepared to accept it:his dear son deserves better than an orphan girl and she turns her in to the Police.This singer,who got a raw deal during her youth (she was an unmarried mother) wants to marry a count (de Bourgogne!) short of the readies and that this aristocrat legally recognizes her offspring ! Autant-Lara's disgust for social conventions (which would come to the fore with such works as "Douce" and " le Diable au Corps") can already be felt here.The melodrama sometimes turns into a farce when the fabulous Michel Simon,the fallen aristocrat (his nickname is "L'Escargot" =the Snail cause BOurgogne (Burgundy) is famous for its snails in gastronomy)who almost looks like a tramp mumbles "in my arms ,my son!" .Even the happy end leaves a bitter taste in the mouth:the chanteuse finally lets the lovers do what they want because it aids her career,her ambitions.
It was 1938:note that the young officer after asking the stowaway "Parlez-vous Français?" repeats his sentence in English,Spanish ,Italian,but NOT in German!We find a subject which was dear to the "Realisme Poetique" of that glorious hour :the islands in the sun which the boy paints in glowing colors to the girl.The soundtrack ironically includes snatches of the old traditional French song "Il était un Petit Navire" (="Once there was a little ship which had never sailed away,Ohé Ohé!)
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