With hindsight,"Bagarres " (=rumbles) appears like a blueprint for its follow-up "Eaux Troubles" ,probably Calef's finest work.Mouloudji plays in both and his two characters are some kind of relatives : the guy who has been an outcast all his life and who is pure evil and perversity.Like in its follow-up,a microcosm :Zolaesque peasants all vying for the most beautiful girl of the place ,a brunette (Maria Casarès) who seems at first a victim but who in the end knows how to reap the benefits.Very well acted by Casarès ("Les Enfants Du Paradis),aging Orane Demazis (formerly Marcel Pagnol's favorite actress),Roger Pigaut,Jean Murat ,Jean Brochart and of course Mouloudji. The ending is not very satisfying ,compared to what would be fully achieved in "Eaux Troubles" but every Calef 's work ,the most overlooked of post WW2 French directors ,deserves your undivided attention.
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