Julien Duvivier

Julien Duvivier – Tales of Manhattan (1942)

Brief Synopsis:
An actor, Paul Orman, is accidentally told that his new, custom made tail coat has been cursed and it will bring misfortune to all who wear it. As the 4 succeeding wearers of the coat discover, misfortune can often lead to truth. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Pot-Bouille AKA Lovers of Paris (1957)

Synopsis:
Paris, 1865. Octave Mouret is a young man filled with great ambitions. He is also a consummate Don Juan and it his talent for seducing members of the opposite sex which he intends using to make a rapid ascent of the social scale. He finds work as a salesman in an upmarket drapers’ shop, Au Bonheur des Dames, and soon makes a positive impression on his employer, Madame Hédouin. When the latter repels his amorous advances, Octave resigns and finds work with a rival shop managed by Auguste Vabre, the weak-willed son of his landlord. When Auguste discovers that Octave is having an affair with his wife, Berthe, he challenges him to a duel…
— James Travers Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Diaboliquement vôtre AKA Diabolically Yours [+commentary] (1967)

A provocative French thriller places a wealthy man (Delon) at the center of an extraordinary plot after a car crash leaves him unable to remember who he is. With his wife (Senta Berger) convinced he is faking amnesia, he sets out to discover who and why someone wants him to believe he is going crazy and should end his life. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Le Diable et les Dix Commandements AKA The Devil and the Ten Commandments (1962)

Quote:
The multi-part film is a difficult kind of cinema to get right but Duvivier’s Le Diable et les dix commandements is a rare exception where the form succeeds admirably. The film consists of seven roughly 15 minute sketches, each showing what may happen if one or more of the Ten Commandments is broken. Each sketch is self-contained (except for the last which returns to the first) and linked by a nasty slithery serpent who has a very strange sense of humour. The sketches are either mini-dramas, usually with a clever twist at the end (the best instance of this being the second sketch: “Do not commit adultery”), or comic. The sketch featuring “Do no steal” is an outrageous comic farce with Jean-Claude Brialy and Louis de Funès, made even more hilarious by Duvivier’s unsubtle attempt to ape the New Wave film directors. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Maria Chapdelaine (1934)

MG REVIEW
“Maria Chapdelaine” beautifully supports and sustains French filmmaker Julien Duvivier’s gift for “poetic realism.” At base, this is a simple 19th century romantic triangle. Canadian lass Madeleine Renaud is adored with equal fervor by aristocratic Jean-Pierre Aumont and by crude lumberjack Jean Gabin. Her indecision paves the way for tragedy. Yes, Maria Chapdelaine is a bit old-fashioned in technique and story material, but that fact never stopped Duvivier from turning out a film of genuine merit. Though the 1984 remake, directed by Gilles Carle, is superior to Duvivier’s, the earlier film shouldn’t be ignored” Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Sous le ciel de Paris AKA Under the Sky of Paris (1951)

Quote:
Fates of multiple otherwise disconnected characters intertwine miraculously under the sky of Paris. And it all happens in one day. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Panique AKA Panic [2018 Restoration + Extras] (1946)

Criterion wrote:
Proud, eccentric, and antisocial, Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) has always kept to himself. But after a woman turns up dead in the Paris suburb where he lives, he feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer to town (Viviane Romance), discovers that his neighbors are only too ready to suspect the worst of him, and is framed for the murder. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Julien Duvivier’s first film after his return to France from Hollywood finds the acclaimed poetic realist applying his consummate craft to darker, moodier ends. Propelled by its two deeply nuanced lead performances, the tensely noirish Panique exposes the dangers of the knives-out mob mentality, delivering as well a pointed allegory for the behavior of Duvivier’s countrymen during the war. Read More »