Losey made social differences stand out. A Welsh coal miner's son and an orphaned French girl who survives by wanting money. Baker was a coal miner's son in real life. Hence the heightened irony. Losey tries to puts his stamp on this film and partly succeeds.
Une oeuvre inoubliable, sous forme d'acidulée et navrante parabole à résonnance biblique, constatant avec une amère lucidité l'inévitable faillite des relations entre les deux sexes. L'exceptionnelle interprétation de Jeanne Moreau en lumineuse garce fatale ne doit pas faire oublier la fine et délicate composition de la magnétique Virna Lisi, d'une marquante et discrète présence cinématographique. www.cinefiches.com
Wonder why this was such a flop w/ me. I guess it's not due to aggressive classicism sieging each frame as if the film assumed the role of its last outpost in the arts. Just when you think the detail couldn't get more hirsute, the edifice grows even more encrusted and overflourished like the 'Ideal Palace' of Postman Cheval or ineffectual electric jolts applied onto the corpse of its bad plot & despicable characters.
I try not to pay too much attention when a film is called pretentious, but boy does the shoe fit this one. Dreadful in so many ways: boring, misanthropic, puritanical, sleazy. Everybody is hideous, especially Baker as the writer, who plays like a cross between Jack Palance and Roger Moore, without the charm. There are a few nice shots, but on the whole it is terribly put together. It adds up to an empty experience.