This film is strange, for having such an amazing resume between the director and actors, the film falls shockingly flat. Each of its features feels shockingly outdated and hokey. The music is palpably cloying. The tone is amiss, not fitting within any genre comfortably but also not genre breaking of any sort either. This leaves the film in a middle ground on many things.
(3.5 stars) Using flashback, Renoir tells a tale of how a murder comes to be. It's a unique device that works pretty well here. Renoir does a great job of building his story with great character development. Piece by piece it is layered together and amps up the tension of what we know is to come. Some really solid early filmmaking happening here. Quite enjoyable.
Superbly paced and well-edited. Lovely fairy tale where hard-working employees triumph over their capitalist oppressor. If only the real world were like that. Thought the female characters were well-drawn for this time period. Three had actual occupations and handled the predatory advances of Battala in different ways. If only a revolution like this would take out the current lecherous leader of the free world.
Réalisé à la veille des élections du Front Populaire, nous avons un film adroitement orienté vers la solidarité ouvrière, contre le pitoyable monde des capitalistes exploiteurs. Oeuvre humaine et spontanée qui fait date dans l'histoire du cinéma... www.cinefiches.com
Every time I see a Renoir's film I get more convinced that he is the most generous, fair and beautiful director of all time. How could you judge that crime after this film? It's not a apology to murder, it's just a film composed by grey areas. He completely blurred the black and white judgment and he creat in every spectator the space and time to fall in love and despise the characters without imposing.
I do love me some good socialist critique but this one was made using puppets and stereotypes, which is fun but not exactly elegant. Also, why have leftist agenda that doesn't acknowledge the blatant racism of the main character's writing? That said, I loved the dogs, Estelle's coat and the absolutely hilarious handling of the pregnancy.
Simultaneously tells a success story and one of murder intertwined with vignettes of young love and even upfront sexuality. Renoir guides the viewer through the mini universe he creates with some of his finest camera work. Characters bounce off each other frantically and Renoir finds humanity amongst all of them. Renoir's use of music, transitions and female independence, struck me as incredibly modern. Masterpiece.
There is so much going on in this film! I love it! it's more naturalistic than Renoir's Toni or A Day in the Country in many ways, it has the irreverence of Truffaut and Godard's early work, It prefigures the mise en scene of Maurice Pialat, it has the naive poetic realism of the young Jacques Prevert, the sound is unbelievably naturalistic and creative. perhaps the best performance of Jules Berry. So Much!