François Cardinaud is one of the richest shipowners in the region. But this success arouses resentment and jealousy. When Marthe, his wife, leaves the home without warning, Cardinaud sees her life cracking little by little.
After thirty years of effort, the former longshoreman François Cardinaud has become one of the most powerful men in the port of La Rochelle. On the occasion of a runaway from his wife Marthe with a young thug Mimile, he meets only contempt and hostility. The whole city is delighted to see Cardinaud flouted. Marthe found, Cardinaud forgives him and becomes again the man feared by all. From now on, he will think more of the happiness of his wife.
Tension is underlying this movie where many a form of hatred are at work.
This a Gabin's vehicle, again directed by Gilles Grangier, one of those more than decent films they made together in the 50's, with nothing of the self-indulgence that would hamper their association in the 60's.
The job is very entertaining, until the end. And, naturally, well crafted. La Rochelle is beautifully and thoroughly depicted here.
Please note the astounding performance of Georgette Anys as "Titine Babin". You may remember her as little more than a silhouette, for instance in two great Duvivier's works, "Sous le ciel de Paris" and "La fête à Henriette". In "Le sang à la tête", she has a part to play, a real one though short, and Mme Anys can inhabit it with an impressive strength.
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