The fifties were a great time for the French thriller;those years saw Decoin's "La Verite Sur Bebe Donge" ,Allégret's "Manèges" ,Salavsky's "Les Louves" ,Delannoy's unfairly overlooked "Obsession" ,and to top all of them HG Clouzot's IMDb top 250 "Diaboliques".And Duvivier's masterful "Voici le Temps Des Assassins"
Claude Boissol's effort in not in the same league ,by a long shot.Whatever the director tried in his short-lived career ,he failed : comedy (the crude "Julie La Rousse" )historical drama (Napoleon II L'Aiglon probably his best though it does not mean much).According to historian Jean Tulard ,his most interesting work is "La Peau de l'Ours " which featured an unexpected twist as far the murderer was concerned.
With first-class thespians such as Daniele Delorme (who had just made "Voici Le Temps des Assassins " her finest performance ) ,Jean Marais ,Françoise Fabian and Denise Gence ,De La Comédie Française ,how could a director be wrong?It must be said in his defense that the screenplay is rather weak,some kind of a poor man's Boileau -Narcejac -who wrote "Diaboliques " and "Vertigo" -;based on a Luisa Maria Linares novel which fluctuates between film noir (life assurance,a dead who may not be dead,two wives ,one of whom might slowly go nuts,exhumation) and Harlequin Romance story (the affair between Delorme and Marais).
Most of the time the dialog does not ring true,it's even sometimes unintentionally funny ,and the actors seem left to their own devices .Even them cannot save the film from triteness.
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