Aged penniless actors are living in a old people's home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of ... 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 »
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 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.
Fifteen years after WWII, a group of ex-resistance fighters are brought together by Marie-Octobre, so that the former members of the network can finally relive one fateful night and find out who betrayed their murdered leader, Castille.
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. ... 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 »
Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »
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 »
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
Spoilers Just back from the USA,Duvivier was beginning the second part of his French career.His post- war work was relegated to purgatory for a long time,because of the snobbery of the nouvelle vague die hards .That this powerful movie has already several positive reviews is proof positive that there is ,at times,justice in the universe."Panique" means more to me than ten "à bout de soufflé".
"Panique" is one of the best Simenon adaptations for the screen.But when Duvivier tackles a book ,he makes it his very own.Elements of his past and future work emerge:the fortune-teller and the predictions were already here in his American gem "flesh and fantasy"(1943)Viviane Romance's double-dealing(playing a double game) character resembles Danielle Delorme's Catherine in "voici le temps des assassins" (1956).
A girl (Romance ,who portrayed a bitch in "la belle équipe" (1936)) is released from jail and she meets up her lover who has just committed a murder:he killed a woman to steal her money.But a strange man ,a Jew,saw the whole scene and he's got an evidence .This witness is masterfully portrayed by Michel Simon (who was part of the cast of "la fin du jour" ) one of the giants of the French cinéma.
M.Hire ,the Jew, has always been a solitary man .He's never had a friend,either at school or in the army;he's been an outcast for all his life. Simon gives a subdued ,restrained performance ,as powerful as when he portrays colorful characters.The satanic lovers have found the ideal scapegoat ,and the whole town will have its culprit.
Duvivier's directing is awesome :the lovers , talking about their future near a church where the congregations is singing heavenly canticles is pure film noir genius;Simon pursued by a madding crowd is filmed with stunning mastery;it compares favorably to Fritz Lang's "fury"."Panique" indeed !And the dialogue follows suit (the center of the action revolves around a fair )"I can stop the music",the fairground man says, "now the show is in the street".nothing will stop the crowds who want to take the law in their own hands.
Duvivier knows how to grab his audience and he will not leave you till the final scene where a final clue packs a real wallop.
Let this movie be an introduction to the other Duvivier films noirs of the forties and the fifties :"sous le ciel de Paris" "l'affaire Maurizius" and the incredible "voici le temps des assassins".
Ingmar Bergman was rapturous about it.
Remake in 1988 by Patrice Leconte,in which Michel Blanc and Sandrine Bonnaire take on Michel Simon 's and Vivianne Romance's parts.
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