Tag Archives: Charles Vanel

Jean-Daniel Simon – Ils AKA Them (1970)

An artist grows hateful of commercial demands on his questionable talents when his friend and artist commits suicide. He puts the blame for his friend’s death on an art critic and a shady art dealer. He is able to take out his frustrations on the pretentious critic at a party. When an elderly man moves into the boarding house, he brings a machine he invented that can make people realize their subconscious dreams… Read More »

François Leterrier – Un roi sans divertissement AKA A King Without Distraction (1963)

In the nineteenth century, a young police captain, Langlois, is sent to a remote snow-covered village to investigate the disappearance of a girl. He is helped in his investigation by a local magistrate, who is convinced that the murderer is an ordinary man who has killed merely to relieve his boredom. When he finally confronts the killer, Langlois becomes aware of his own identity and discovers that he too has the impulse to take the lives of others… Read More »

Jean Grémillon – Le ciel est à vous AKA The Sky is Yours (1944)

Considering that it was made during a bleak and distressing period for France, Le Ciel est à vous is an astonishingly uplifting film with a message of unfettered hope for the future. It is not difficult to read director Jean Grémillon’s allegorical call to arms behind the rather anodyne tale about a Lindbergh-esque exploit, based on the real-life story of Andrée Dupeyron, the wife of a garage owner in Mont-de-Marsan. Released in February 1944, a few months before the Liberation, the film was enormously popular in France, galvanising the efforts of the Resistance and their covert supporters with its inspiring subtext. Although Jean Grémillon would go on to make three more notable films, Le Ciel est à vous was his last commercial success, the highpoint of his career before a rapid decline into obscurity. Read More »

Anatole Litvak – L’Équipage aka Flight into darkness (1935)

Filmmaker Anatole Litvak was still one year away from his “breakthrough” picture Mayerling when he co-wrote and directed L’Equipage (The Crew). Charles Vanel and Annabella star respectively as a daring WW I aviator and his loving but neglected wife. Ostracized by the other pilots because of his recklessness and standoffishness, Vanel nonetheless befriends a young flyboy (Jean-Pierre Aumont). It is therefore a great source of consternation for Aumont when he discovers that the woman with whom he’s fallen in love is none other than Vanel’s wife Annabella. Read More »

Costa-Gavras – Un homme de trop AKA Shock Troops (1967)


Quote:
Set in central France, the film follows French resistance fighters who press the battle on the Germans. Along the way, they break into a prison and release some German prisoners, but discover there may be a spy deliberately planted to flush them all out. Read More »

Viktor Tourjansky – La Peur AKA Vertige d’un soir AKA Fear (1936)


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IMDb:

Gaby Morlay is Irène, the wife of a famous and wealthy lawyer (Charles Vanel), who falls briefly for a young and handsome pianist (Georges Rigaud) while on vacations on the French Riviera. When she comes back to her married life in Paris, she falls prey to a blackmailer, the pianist’s jealous former mistress, while her husband’s behavior becomes more and more unpredictable… Charles Vanel is as usually very good as the betrayed and yet not so innocent husband, a part he has played often. Garboesque Gaby Morlay is less convincing (more theatrical) as his wife. I guess there is nothing to expect from this movie but its premise, which is a melodrama in the French pre-war upper bourgeoisie, with a set of good actors of that time (a special mention to Suzy Prim as the “mistress”, charmingly vulgar, a real Parisian bird), leading men in tuxedos and ladies dressed in lamé gowns and furs. Read More »