Etienne Lantier is a railway worker who loses his job as a result of his union activities. He finds work at the mines in Voreux and lodges with the Maheu family. The work is hard, dangerous and badly paid. Like many other families in the area, the Maheus are in debt. Fortunately, Maigrat, the grocer, offers them credit from time to time. The mine manager Hennebeau always wants more from his workers for less pay. There is an on-going feud between Hennebeau and his engineer Negrel, who is Madame Hennebeau’s lover. Lantier is in love with his landlord’s daughter Catherine, but he has a rival in Chaval, an old friend of Catherine who believes he has a stronger claim to her. Things come to a head when Hennebeau refuses to negotiate with the miners. The latter have no choice but to go on strike. The situation soon gets out of hand. Maigrat’s shop is destroyed and several strikers are shot dead… —Filmsdefrance.com
Yves Allégret, (b. Oct. 13, 1907, Paris, France—d. Jan. 31, 1987, Paris), French motion-picture director who gained fame for his work in the “film noir” genre that was popular in the late 1940s.
Allégret began his film career working as an assistant to his older brother, the director Marc Allégret, and for Augusto Genina and Jean Renoir. Entering films during the 1930s and working with directors involved in the avant-garde in France during that period, Allégret was influenced by the impressionist and surrealist ideas that these directors expressed in their films.
Although Allégret created several early short films and commercials, he did not direct his first feature film until 1941. His best films, many of which starred Simone Signoret, included Les Deux Timides (1942; “The Two Timid Ones”), Dédée d’Anvers (1947; Dedee), Une si jolie petite plage (1948; Such a Pretty Little Beach, or Riptide), Manèges (1949; The Cheat), Les Orgueilleux (1953; The Proud and the Beautiful… read more