In the suburbs of Paris, an old maid has just been murdered. Every body talks about that, except the misanthrope Mr Hire. The same evening, Alice, just getting out of jail, arrives and meets up with her lover Alfred again.
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The French could make a crackling film noir, and why not? They helped invent it back in the 30s. This gem, a tale of public hysteria made right after the Occupation (and collaboration), has a lot of fun keeping you guessing what each character is up to. But the "panic"—that hysteria—is a little too indirect, a little too comical. It cries out for the toxic, bitter atmosphere of Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Uncompromising film about the physical and moral lynching of a man in post WWII France. Dark vision of Love and bourgeois society. Michel Simon, as usual, overshadows everyone with the exception of Viviane Romance. Highly recommended if you've still got some hope in humanity.
Une éblouissante prestation de Michel Simon, devenu la bête noire de l'ensemble des habitants d'un quartier, dont la déroutante naïveté et la lourde candeur souvent caractéristiques des personnes esseulées ou solitaires, contribuent largement au drame final que la vindicte populaire recherche avec avidité et cruauté... www.cinefiches.com
A bit predictable by way of plot, and a story that is not so economical even at a brief ninety minutes, but PANIQUE features some of the most striking crane and tracking shots in the history of cinema.