A very dear friend gave me this film and having watched it I tried to think when I slept with his wife and ate his children because nothing less than crimes of that nature deserved punishment this severe. But seriously, folks, he knows how much I genuinely love all French films - which is as much as both he and I despise the new wave - so I think he was genuinely testing me to see if that love would falter in the face of something so inept. Renas Chanas took up directing at age 32 and threw in the towel - one suspects the industry threw it in his face - at 43 and I sincerely hope that this was his worst effort because anything worse would be impossible to imagine. On the positive side it has two of France's finest actors in Michel Simon and Jules Berry who had already worked together brilliantly in Les Mortes en fuit, plus Blanchette Brunoy who appeared in some excellent films of the period. What it doesn't have is anything resembling an original storyline, imaginative camera work - Chanas shoots everything in monotonous Master Shot, Long Shot, Mid Shot etc, that he clearly memorized from page #1 of How To Direct A Film. I'm glad I watched it because you need to see the bad stuff to realize how good the good stuff really is.
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