Marcel Carné and Jacques Prevert’s classic of French poetic realism stars Jean Gabin in one of his most famous roles as François, a rough, barrel-chested loner who hides out in his apartment awaiting for the police to arrive.
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A classic of French cinema made just before the occupation. Jean Gabin plays the French everyman in this well told tale of an ordinary man pushed to his limits while dealing with an aged lothario trying to seduce the woman he loves. Gabin plays no saint here and its those qualities that make this a turn to remember. Casting and scripting are exceptional. The undertone of community and unrest quite interesting.
Un classique du cinéma français qui, tout en prenant de l'âge, ne vieillit absolument pas. Bien sûr, c'est un tantinet mélodramatique, un brin rétro, mais qu'Arletty est belle et Jules Berry talentueux d'hypocrisie et de salacité retenue. Gabin-destin, quant à lui, joue parfaitement son rôle d'amoureux échoué. A voir, sans l'ombre d'une quelconque hésitation, avant la tombée définitive du jour... www.cinefiches.com
I spent the whole time watching this film thinking of it in terms of political allegory and trying to figure out what the characters and the interactions between them were meant to symbolize, but drawing blanks. The events were ostensibly metaphorical, but...
For some reason I didn't connect with this as much as I did with Children of the Paradise (a difficult one to top, I admit), but Carné's style and storytelling are undoubtedly effortless. Hazy poetry rooted in gritty reality. Gabin's performance is amazing as usual, and made me want to have a marathon or watching his films (or Carné's for that matter!).