Jean Dréville

  • Jean Dréville – La ferme du pendu (1945)

    1941-1950DramaFranceJean Dréville

    On a huge farm in the Vendee, the death of the patriarch leaves behind 3 brothers and a sister. The eldest brother refuses to consider dividing the property. In order to cement his hold on the family, he uses his authority to keep his siblings from marrying… La Ferme du pendu is a well-built, intense rural drama portraying the relentless determination of a man whose attachment to the land becomes a destructive obsession. It also serves as a near-documentary depiction of peasant life between the wars. Dréville keeps a certain distance from his characters and avoids all overblown drama. The cast is remarkable: Charles Vanel brings great intensity to the ensemble, but all the roles are perfectly portrayed. La Ferme du pendu was also the first credited film role for Bourvil, playing a small role as a shopkeeper which still allows him to sing his famous song, “Les Crayons” during the wedding scene.Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – Les affaires sont les affaires (1942)

    1941-1950DramaFranceJean Dréville

    Nouveau riche

    In spite of a very poor rating, this film is really a killer! By far Jean Dreville’s most important film as well as one of the best Charles Vanel’s performances. First intended for Raimu, it seems that Vanel was finally a better choice and anyway if you give this movie a chance, he’s gonna blow your mind. Lord! What an actor!Read More »

  • André Cayatte, Georges Lampin, Henri-Georges Clouzot & Jean Dréville – Retour à la Vie AKA Return to Life (1949)

    André Cayatte1941-1950DramaFranceGeorges LampinHenri-Georges ClouzotJean Dréville

    The first film made up of sketches made by different directors. All deal with the return of prisoners in their native France after WW2.Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – Copie conforme (1947) (HD)

    1941-1950CrimeDramaFranceJean Dréville

    No one would think that Manuel Ismora, an esteemed society photographer, is an audacious thief and con artist. The newspapers are ?lled with accounts of Ismora’s criminal exploits, which involve the fraudulent sale of a château and the theft of some valuable jewels, but the police are slow in bringing him to justice. Instead, it is Gabriel Dupon, a modest button salesman who bears a remarkable physical resemblance to Imora, who ends up being taken into custody. Positively identi?ed by Imora’s many victims, Dupon is branded a criminal, and even when he is released by the police through lack of evidence, his reputation is in tatters.Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – Le joueur d’échecs AKA The Devil Is an Empress AKA Chess Player (1938)

    Drama1931-1940ClassicsFranceJean Dréville

    1776. Along with Lithuania and Prussia, Poland has succumbed to the might of the Russian Empire, but a determined resistance movement is working to bring an end to the country’s annexation. A young woman named Sonia is the figurehead of the Polish resistance fighters, but the Empress Catherine II has no fear of her, as she knows that Sonia is of Russian blood – a fact that she asks the Baron de Kempelen to make known to her political enemies. But Kempelen’s allegiances are ambiguous and he appears more preoccupied with the elaborate life-size automata he is working on than the political situation.Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – La cage aux rossignols AKA A Cage of Nightingales (1945)

    1941-1950ClassicsDramaFranceJean Dréville

    Clement Mathieu has written a book, La cage aux rossignols, which recounts his recent experiences as a teacher in a typical French boys’ school. Having tried, in vain, to get the book published Mathieu succeeds in persuading a friend to print it in the newspaper he works for. The story he tells moves the thousands of people who read it, but it has most impact on the woman who is shortly to be his wife. In the 1930s, Clement Mathieu took up a teaching post at a school run with an iron fist by the authoritarian headmaster Monsieur Rachin. Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – La Fayette (1961) (DVD)

    1961-1970DramaFranceJean DrévillePolitics

    I’m the marquis de Lafayette !
    ..or La Fayette ,the French spelling.The first thing to bear in mind is that ,at the time,it was the biggest budget France had ever spent for a movie:hence the cast which includes Orson Welles as Franklin -a part he had already played in Sacha Guitry’s “si Versailles m’était conté”-,Vittorio DeSica ,Jack Hawkins ,Edmund Purdom ,Liselotte Pulver;on the other hand,the French stars are not big names: Pascale Audret and Michel LeRoyer were far from being very famous compared with Bardot,Delon,Belmondo,Ventura or Moreau.Other assets were Claude Renoir’s peerless cinematography and a lilting tuneful score .Read More »

  • Jean Dréville – Copie conforme (1947)

    1941-1950ClassicsFilm NoirFranceJean Dréville


    From IMDB:
    Another Louis Jouvet’s tour de force., 8 March 2003
    Author: dbdumonteil
    Some movies do not need a director at all:when Louis Jouvet is the lead,he carries everything on his shoulders.Here he’s got two parts: a crook and an honest man ,who is his perfect double. Jouvet is so good,a perfectionist extraordinaire ,that you do believe there are really TWO different actors on the screen,one self-assured,smart and tricky,the other one a born-sucker. Nevertheless, best scenes are to be found at the beginning:Jouvet selling a castle on the historical register to a couple of nouveaux riches: his crook becomes a true noble ,and when he says to these bourgeois he despises “call me excellency as everybody does”,his behavior compels respect.Read More »

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