The everyday life and activity of "La Dernière Heure", a major evening newspaper, seen through the eyes of Hélène Perrin, a cub reporter trained by Pierre Rabaud, a star in his field. Side ... See full summary »
The everyday life and activity of "La Dernière Heure", a major evening newspaper, seen through the eyes of Hélène Perrin, a cub reporter trained by Pierre Rabaud, a star in his field. Side by side they will investigate several events: an air show that ends tragically, the coming to France of a Hollywood actress, a lightship caught in a terrible storm... Written by
An attractive young reporter (Marie Déa) joins a national newspaper, and quickly becomes the new favourite of the boss (Pierre Renoir). The paper's star journalist (Pierre Fresnay) takes a shine to her, too, but when she steals a news story from under his nose, a rivalry develops. Only when her life is in danger do the two realise their feelings for each other.
A French film about journalism made during the German Occupation? It sounds unlikely. But not to worry: Pierre Renoir's newspaper apparently exists in a parallel universe where the war never happened and where the headlines are all about celebrity gossip and air shows. Questions of press freedom and censorship never arise, except tangentially when our heroine goes undercover to spy on a celebrity in hiding and agonises briefly over betraying a woman who's become her friend.
For the most part, this is an adventure story with a feminist slant - a woman striving to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession. The screenplay is too episodic and melodramatic to be entirely successful, and though Georges Lacombe was capable of good things (such as the previous year's "Le Dernier des six", also with Pierre Fresnay), his direction here seems uninspired. The climax of the film, aboard a storm-tossed ship, lacks any real sense of danger.
The strong cast is supplemented by plenty of familiar faces in minor roles, including Bernard Blier and Pierre Larquey. Déa and Fresnay were both charismatic actors, but there's an unfortunate lack of chemistry in their relationship here. Renoir's character (kindly uncle or lecherous goat?) seems underwritten rather than deliberately ambiguous. There's a lively score by Arthur Honegger.
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