May 1940 – Germany invades Europe, people panic and try to flee by any means possible. In France, Julien, a radio repairman, boards a train with his wife and child. As the men are placed in cattle cars with only the women and elderly allowed in the passenger cars, events begin their fateful turning as the insignificant repairman encounters an attractive fugitive and love begins – a doomed love. –IMDb
It is no surprise to learn that the Parisian Granier-Deferre, after studying at l’Idhec (L’Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques), started his career as assistant on a number of solid mainstream films, several directed by the workmanlike Denys de La Patellière and Jean-Paul Le Chanois, some featuring the great Jean Gabin, still trailing his past glory. He was also assistant on L’Air de Paris (1954), starring Gabin and Arletty, directed by Marcel Carné, one of the leading representatives of le cinéma de qualité, which the new wave reacted against but which, particularly Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, eventually came to admire.
When Granier-Deferre began to direct films himself in 1962, he continued in the same tradition, featuring many of the monstres sacrés of the French cinema – Gabin, Simone Signoret, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret and Jean Rochefort – and working on the scripts with a number of contemporary novelists whose… read more