Thursday, May 24, 2007

Casque d'or (1952)

***½
France

When you think of France in the Belle Epoque, you conjure up a fantasy of a place so sensuous and otherworldly in its beauty that it could arguably never be captured by a mortal filmmaker. Several highly esteemed movie fans however, believe Jacques Becker achieves precisely that in this glowing romance between the immaculately sculpted Simone Signoret at her most bewitching and an intelligent though miscast actor called Serge Reggiani, who sports a moustache approximately three times the size of his head. The plot is very much in the pulpy noir tradition - a misunderstood convict falls for a femme fatale and finds himself trapped in the crooked dealings of the underworld - but Becker milks it for evocative mundanities and grounded emotions.

dir: Jacques Becker
cast: Serge Reggiani, Simone Signoret, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussières, Odette Barencey, Loleh Bellon, Solange Certin, Jacqueline Dane, Gaston Modot

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