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A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, ... See full summary »
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A man and a woman arrive in a cafe-hotel near the Belgian frontier. The customers recognize the man from the police description. His name is Amedee Lange, and he murdered Batala in Paris. His ladyfriend Valentine tells the whole story: Lange was an employee in Batala's little printing works. Batala was a real bastard, swindling everyone, seducing female workers of Valentine's laundry - One day, he fled to avoid facing his creditors, and the workers set up a cooperative to go on working. But the plot is less important that the description of the atmosphere just before the Popular Front.Written by
According to film scholar Alexander Sesonske, the Catalan painter Jean Castanier (also spelled "Castanier") approached his friend Jacques Becker with the idea of a film about "a likable little world of print-shop workers and laundresses who form a cooperative" to be called Sur la Cour, which Becker would direct. Becker was much taken by the idea, but the producer who took on the project didn't trust him, and decided to offer it to the more experienced director Jean Renoir, for whom Becker had already worked as assistant director on several pictures. Becker was reportedly so furious at Renoir for directing "his" film that he refused to work as assistant director on the production, though he would later work again as Renoir's assistant on several films (e.g. La Grande Illusion (1937)), before becoming a full-time director himself. See more »
Delightful! I'm a great fan of Jean Renoir, and I was very pleased to see this early piece as part of the excellent boxed set of 3 now available on DVD. It has its faults, but I love the way that he lets his actors "do their thing" and lives with the resultant somewhat chaotic mis en scene. The characters are great, with Jules Berry outdoing every caddish scoundrel I've ever seen on film (even including Terry -Thomas!). There's so much fun evident in the making of it, the rather slight fairy-story plot fills the bill perfectly, so it's like watching an early Hitchcock like "Young and Innocent". Lots of the same sense of fun finds its way into Renoir's later, more profound pieces like La Grande Illusion and Les Regles du Jeu, and help make those the more human by not being too sententious.
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