This is a re-remake (there 's also a silent version and another one from the thirties) ."La Pocharde " was first a novel from Jules Mary who wrote melodramas often based on miscarriages of justice ("Roger La Honte" ) .The heroine of "La Pocharde" (the drunk) recalls often that of "La Porteuse De Pain" from contemporary Xavier De Montépin.
They have transposed the action to the fifties but melodrama will always be melodrama: the heroine ,suffers ,suffers ,suffers ....and suffers: unfairly accused of her husband's murder, with a reputation to be alcoholic ,she is not even allowed to see her children in jail.And her eldest daughter is in love with a doctor's son (and it is that doctor who diagnosed poisoning by the unfortunate mom).And the doctor is remarried to a a go-getter who does not like her stepson.But this nasty woman has a brother ,a lawyer ,who agrees to defend the prisoner at the young man's request.Even the national defense is involved!
Monique Melinand was Louis Jouvet's student and love and she gives a restrained performance ,the best you can do with such a story;the same cannot be said of Pierre Brasseur who has a tremendous time in his part of a lawyer and overplays as though a life depends on him (which is the case ,anyway,for death penalty still existed at the time).Monique Melinand is best remembered for her part of the dying mother in "La Gueule Ouverte" (the mouth agape) by Maurice Pialat.
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