When released, a French newspaper once stated "The cinema has condemned us to seeing the base, disgusting, revolting face that Michel Simon gives to Vautrin". Denounced as Jewish, his photo was on view at the anti-Semite exhibition at the Berlitz Palace. See more »
A fine Balzac adaptation,featuring Michel Simon at the top of his game ,with good support from George Marchal and Madeleine Sologne.
Simon portrays Vautrin who escaped from penal colony and did not become a Jean Valjean,although a cop is hot on his heels.Disguised as a priest,he helps his protégé Lucien make his way in the posh society.He wants him to marry into money ,even if he loves someone else.Simon spins a web : it's Lucien's true love who will be the hook,a rich greybeard will be the fish and the young man will "eat the fried fish".
A splendid depiction of the wealthy society in the French nineteenth century.
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