1951-1960

Michel Deville & Charles Gérard – Une Balle dans le Canon AKA A Bullet in the Gun Barrel (1958)

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Synopsis
The story concerns a couple of ex-servicemen who engineer a robbery, only to run afoul of professional criminals.

Dick et Tony, parachutistes rapatriés d’Indochine ont accepté de rendre un petit service au Maltais. Pour une commission de deux millions de francs, ils ont fait transiter 25 millions, mais au moment de rendre l’argent, le Maltais n’est pas là. Ils investissent alors cet argent dans une boîte de nuit.
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John Sturges & Fred Zinnemann – The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

Quote:
An old Cuban fisherman’s dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway’s story. Read More »

Mikhail Kalatozov – Letyat zhuravli AKA The Cranes are Flying (1957)

Quote:
Based on a play by V. Rusov, this Russian film is a love story set during the early years of WWII. Widowed by the war, Tatyana Samoylova reluctantly marries her late husband’s cousin, hoping that he’ll be a surrogate for her fallen spouse. Read More »

René Clément – Gervaise (1956)

Synopsis:
Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys… She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)… But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up… A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel “L’Assomoir”, depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – Le beau Serge (1958)

Synopsis:
Of the hallowed group of Cahiers du cinéma critics turned filmmakers who transformed French film history, Claude Chabrol was the first to direct his own feature. His absorbing landmark debut, Le beau Serge, follows a successful yet sickly young man (Jean-Claude Brialy) who returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend (Gerard Blain)—now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic—and the provincial life he represents. The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades. Read More »

Mark Donskoy – Foma Gordeev (1959)

Synopsis
Gordeev Thomas is the son of a wealthy bourgeois tsarist. He enjoys all the privileges of his condition but can not bear the sight of social misery. He falls in love with a married woman, broke with her when he discovers his frivolity and indulges in debauchery. On the death of his father, he became head of a major grain trading. But it does not handle his affairs. He is only interested in human relations. His background, which scorns the Mavericks, rejects. He chose to break with his peers to live with the poor.

Awards :
Award for best director at the Locarno Festival, 1960 Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Fear (1954)

Synopsis:
Roberto Rossellini directs his then-wife Ingrid Bergman in the suspenseful drama La Paura (Fear), based on the book by Stefan Zweig. Guilt-stricken Irene Wagner (Bergman) is forced to hide her secret affair with Erich Baumann (Kurt Kreuger) from her husband, Professor Albert Wagner (Mathias Wieman), a scientist in the midst of a serious breakthrough. However, Erich’s ex-girlfriend, Joanne (Renate Mannhardt), finds out and threatens blackmail. This throws Irene into a fit of homicidal and suicidal rage. Read More »