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...at least the first part of Stendahl's novel.A penniless private tutor (Gilbert Gil)is hired by a wealthy family in Provence.The brat is a reluctant pupil ,but Michel ,without any magic power ,turns out to be a male Mary Poppins and he wins them all,not only the student but everyone ,from the grumpy dowager(Marguerite Moreno) to the clueless gorgeous blonde girl.But the best is yet to come:the boy's mother -a married woman-(Marie Déa) falls in love with the newcomer.And she becomes jealous of her young blonde goddaughter who has a romance with Michel .
Pierre Blanchar ,an actor who directed only two films ,manages quite well.Arthur Honegger's splendid score and Matras's quivering cinematography help .So does the cast.There's a long dreamlike sequence which throws the movie a bit off balance,because it verges on tongue in chick while the rest of the story is solid psychological drama .Gilbert Gil's most memorable part was a supporting role in Duvivier's "Pépé le Moko"(1937) ,while Marie Déa and Marguerite Moreno found their greatest parts respectively in Carné's "les visiteurs du soir" (1942)and in Autant-Lara's "Douce".
Although filmed during the German occupation,"Secrets" seems to happen in a different age.Hence its charm.
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