Fernand Ledoux

  • Jacques Becker – Goupi mains rouges AKA It Happened At The Inn (1943)

    Drama1941-1950FranceJacques Becker

    In a remote village, a family of hard-working country folk known as the ’Goupis’ live at an inn, proud of their history and distrusting of all outsiders. The youngest member of the Goupi clan, Goupi-Monsieur, now lives in Paris, but he is summoned to the Goupi’s home by his father, who is planning to marry him to the young Goupi-Mugeut. Soon after Goupi-Monsieur arrives in the village, the elderly Goupi-L’Empereur is found unconscious and the imperious housekeeper Goupi-Tisane is discovered dead in the forest. When a wad of money goes missing, the Goupis fear that their ancestral treasure has also been stolen. Only Goupi-L’Empereur knows the whereabouts of the teasure but he is unable to speak. The finger of suspicion points squarely at the new arrival, Goupi-Monsieur. However, the wisest of the Goupis, Goupi mains rouges, has another theoryRead More »

  • Henri Decoin – L’homme de Londres AKA The London Man (1943)

    1941-1950DramaFranceHenri DecoinThriller

    Synopsis (possible spoilers):

    ‘A port swathed in dense fog sees the coming and going of boats all day. During the night, Maloin is the man who controls the trains that transport goods to and from the port. One evening, he sees a man get off the boat from London and hand his suitcase to another man who has been waiting for him. Unaware that Maloin is watching them, the two men get into a fight, which ends with one of them falling into the water with the suitcase. As the other man flees, Maloin dives in and recovers the suitcase. To his surprise, it is full of money. Back home, he tells nothing about this to his wife and daughter but hints that they will soon have a better life. What follows will prove otherwise…’
    – Willems HenriRead More »

  • Jean Grémillon – Pattes blanches AKA White Paws (1949)

    Jean Grémillon1941-1950ClassicsDramaFrance

    The “white paws” of this noirish melodrama are the gaudy white spats sported by a reclusive French aristocrat in a fishing village on the coast of Normandy. Scripted by French playwright Jean Anouilh, who was originally to have directed it, Pattes blanches was ultimately brought to the screen by Grémillon, who accepted the project after the commercial failure of his Le ciel est à vous. The moody plot concerns the relationship of the aristocrat (Bernard) and his vengeful half-brother (Bouquet) and their rivalry over a promiscuous flirt from the city (Delair) who has married the local innkeeper. Although produced within the framework of the commercial cinema, Grémillon’s film manages to imbue the melodrama with a sharp sense of class divisions and his characteristic visual harmonies. (Harvard Film Archives)Read More »

  • Christian-Jaque – Sortilèges AKA The Bellman (1945)


    ‘A bellman – that is, a man whose job it is to help lost travelers in the Alps find their way from the ringing of a bell – kills a traveler for his money and splits the proceeds with companion. However, complications follow…’
    – Dave SindelarRead More »

  • Marcel Carné – Les visiteurs du soir AKA The Devil’s Envoys (1942)

    1941-1950ClassicsFantasyFranceMarcel Carné

    A work of poetry and dark humor, Les visiteurs du soir is a lyrical medieval fantasy from the great French director Marcel Carné. Two strangers dressed as minstrels (Arletty and Alain Cuny) arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities—and are revealed to be emissaries of the devil, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love. Often interpreted as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France, during which it was made, Les visiteurs du soir—wittily written by Jacques Prévert and Pierre Laroche, and elegantly designed by Alexandre Trauner and shot by Roger Hubert—is a moving tale of love conquering all.Read More »

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