In pre-World War II Sicily, just as the fascists come to power, two men fall in love with the same woman. The changes in their country's politics ultimately take all three on a journey across the ocean to New York.
While a world war rages, Philippe, a draft-dodger from Quebec, takes refuge in the American West, surviving by competing in Charlie Chaplin impersonation contests. As Philippe makes his ... See full summary »
Political and sexual repression in Hungary, just after the revolution of 1956. In 1958, the body of Eva Szalanczky, a political journalist, is discovered near the border. Her friend Livia ... See full summary »
Sofia, 20, lives with her parents in Casablanca. Following a denial of pregnancy, she finds herself illegally giving birth to a baby out of wedlock. The hospital leaves her 24h to provide ... See full summary »
Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its... See full summary »
In the suburbs of Paris, an old maid has just been murdered. Every body talks about that, except the misanthrope Mr Hire. The same evening, Alice, just getting out of jail, arrives and meets up with her lover Alfred again. They act as they do not know each other, for Alice went to jail to spare Alfred. But Mr Hire falls in love with Alice, and he suspects who the murderer is.Written by
Julien Duvivier was a very capable director who left some fine films--Carnet de bal is one of my favourites, and La belle equipe is a pleasure--but I never thought of him as the equal of Renoir, Clair or Carne. Panique is a solid work that satisfies us; the performances rise to greatness with Simon and Bernard, and the mise-en-scene is very assured. The only cavil I have is with the crowd scenes: they are just not very interesting and do not increase our involvement with the story. Simenon's novel is a character study, not a work of sociology; we don't need to know what the crowd wants.
Michel Simon was a great actor and here he's at his peak. Dryly humorous, love-struck, violent and tough, it's a memorable performance. Viviane Romance was the great vamp of French pre- and post war film, and she gives a lot of vitality to Alice, the girl who gives herself completely to the worthless Alfred. Max Dalban as the bigoted butcher has some very effective scenes. Finally Paul Bernard is splendid as the thuggish Alfred. He made Madeleine Renaud's life miserable in Lumiere d'ete, he dumped Maria Casares in Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (and was paid back royally for his stupidity): truly, Bernard was one of the great stars of the time.
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