I wonder why Lautner got lost in mediocrities all along his long and lucrative career.Dozens of junk movies like"la grande sauterelle" "quelques messieurs trop tranquilles" or "flic ou voyou"...why did he bother with such things when he had a brilliant potential that explodes here?
"Le septième juré" is a psychological thriller of the first order,that actually belongs to the fifties,when the overrated "new wave" had not happened.Blending Duvivier's pessimism with Clouzot's misanthropy, and beating André Cayatte at his own game (justice and trials),it stands as Lautner's finest achievement.
Bernard Blier,excellent as ever,portrays a notable who strangles a semi-whore.Probably because of a sexual frustration.His wife(an excellent Danielle Delorme) is probably a frigid bourgeois woman.The plot thickens when Blier is asked to be a juror when a wrong man is arrested and tried for HIS crime.Then begins a suspenseful and rich story,in which looks tell more than words (the juror and the accused),in which a whole town is involved with its narrow-minded petits bourgeois,its holier-than-thou spinsters,its rotten justice.
And that's not all!In the very last minutes,comes a final revelation that will leave you on the edge of your seat.And logical,at that,because it thoroughly explains Blier's behavior.The black and white cinematography is stunning,and the ambulance light in the final shots mesmerizing.
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