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
Returning to France after spending the war in Hollywood, Duvivier bravely tackled this Simenon story about a persecuted (Jewish) outsider accused of a crime he did not commit. The idea of scapegoating, of minorities being denounced to the authorities, must have been a sensitive one in France just after the occupation. The protagonist, Monsieur Hire, is played by the great Michel Simon (why do boxers make great actors?), and the lovers who frame him are physically attractve yet morally repellant. The suspense at the end will mess you up. There's a gorgeous love scene before a church in the snow. The resolution has the same sense of bleak irony as LES DIABOLIQUES - evil triumphs, then is punished. A bit like World War Two?
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this