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This film has been called a masterpiece by none other than Jean Tulard, so I watched it with a great deal of expectation: I found some wonderful performances and an assurance from the director Valentin in the way he handled the scrambling of plot elements. It isn't an easy film to watch, even for modern audiences accustomed to Memento and Amores Perros, since the characters' motivations shift in the minds of the audience.
Jean Debucourt as the father of the spurned girl is excellent (he's ready to falsify evidence to exculpate his daughter). Bernard Blier still had hair in 1942 and he's good as the young idealist in love with Marie-Martine. Saturnin Fabre plays Blier's uncle and has some wonderful lines about candles, as dbdumonteil noted. Jeanne Fusier-Gir as the chubby bookseller interested in erotica provides some fun. Only Renee Saint-Cyr as the unlucky heroine acts badly--I couldn't decide whether it was her fault or that of the scriptwriter. That was the only sour note of the viewing.
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