David is a poor but ambitious Polish Jew who reinvents himself as a powerful New York business magnate. After gaining wealth, he relocates to Paris, only to have his selfish and demanding wife squander his fortune.
Willy Ferriere is dead broke and his mistress costs a lot. One day, he says in a pub that he would give 100,000 francs to get rid of his wealthy aunt. Someone lets him know it's a deal. The... See full summary »
François' mother, Mme Lepic, hates him and she nicknames him "Poil de Carotte" (Carrot hair). His father is more interested in politics and hunting that he is in him. In spite of the ... See full summary »
Those five are unemployed penniless workers. Together they win 100,000 Francs with the national lottery. Instead of sharing the money, they buy a ruin and build an open-air cafe. But ... See full summary »
A young woman living with her family on the frontier in Quebec, Canada, endures the hardships of isolation and climate, and chooses between three suitors: a trapper, a farmer, and an ... See full summary »
A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.
Bastien and Ségard decide to leave France for Canada. They wait for the departure of their ship in a hotel recommended by Hidoux, an old porter that they met at the station. They drink ... See full summary »
André Chatelin is a restaurant owner in Les Halles in Paris. One morning, a girl named Catherine asks to see him. She happens to be the daughter of his estranged wife, Gabrielle, that André... See full summary »
In the absence of his wife, a clarinet player is induced by a friend to meet a call girl, but arrived after a crime. Perceived by some people leaving the scene of the crime covered by his ... See full summary »
If Truffaut had bothered to see this gem before penning his infamous essay in which he tarred master craftsmen like Duvivier (who wrote and directed this film), Carne, Renoir, Allegret, Jeanson, Bost, Aurenche, Prevert, etc with the same 'incompetent' brush he would not have had the gall to shoot even one frame of his own take on the subject, 'The 400 Yawns'. As it is Duvivier is still being revived after 70 years whilst with any luck the Truffaut-Godard drek will sink without trace long before that. Here Duvivier obtains an exquisite and heartbreaking performance from ten-year-old Robert Lynen (one of the few French actors to take an active part in the 'Resistance' for which he paid with his life) and it's difficult to imagine what Duvivier said or did to Lynen prior to shooting the scene in the barn where he trembles on the brink of suicide but whatever it was he should bottle it and make it available to directors everywhere. There have, of course, been 'child' actors before - one thinks of Bobby Henry in 'The Fallen Idol', Claude Jarman Jnr, in 'The Yearling', Brandon de Wilde in 'Shane' - and there will be again but it is doubtful indeed if one will ever eclipse Lynen. The story is unashamedly lifted from Cinderella and comes complete with two ugly siblings, one of each sex and a wicked Mother instead of a Stepmother, which Comedie Francaise actress Catherine Fonteney brings off to a fare-thee-well without resorting to chewing the scenery a la Charles Laughton. Harry Baur turns in sterling work as the father whose only crime is in failing to notice he has a young son whose life is reduced to misery by a cold, uncaring mother and two spoiled brats. Duvivier was a master director (he would use Lynen again first in his poetic La Belle Equipe with the great Gabin and later in Un Carnet de Bal with Raimu, Louis Jouvet and Harry Baur (also a victim of the nazis). In sum: a wonderful, lyrical evocation of a tainted childhood. 9/10
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