Tag Archives: Michèle Morgan

Claude Autant-Lara – Marguerite de la nuit AKA Marguerite of the Night (1955)

Quote:
Truffaut and Godard gave a bad name to the “quality” French cinema that preceded them. This film was one of their pet examples of what they saw as staid, boring, unadventurous cinéma de papa. Without an axe to grind, it is actually a breathtakingly bold modernization of the Faust legend, ravishing to look at with its highly stylized sets (Trauner on LSD) and containing multi-layered undercurrents, including a message on the unthinking destructiveness of youth which seems almost like a prescient reply to its New Wave critics. Read More »

Maurice Gleize – Le récif de corail AKA Coral Reefs (1938)

Brisbane, Australia, late 1910s. A man on the run from a murder charge buys a place as a stowaway on a smuggler ship bound for Mexico, by way of a tiny coral reef atoll.

Quote:
Between 1923 and 1952 Maurice Gleize managed to direct twenty two films in France without distinguishing himself. This one, with a screenplay by top French scriptwriter Charles Spaak, had arguably the best cast he ever got to work with (on other occasions he directed Fenandel, Charles Vanel and Marie Bell) from co-stars Jean Gabin and Michele Morgan – hot on the heels of Quai des brumes that same year – to Saturnin Fabre, Gaston Modot and Julien Carrette but for all Gleize extracted from them it might as well have been John Lund and Maria Montez supported by Leo Gorcey and the Bowery Boys. Read More »

François Villiers – Le puits aux trois vérités AKA Three Faces of Sin (1961)

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Synopsis
Midnight in Paris, Faubourg St Honoré. In one house, a woman suddenly screams and the sound of a gunshot is heard. A short time later, Laurent Lénaud, a young painter, is running away with a suitcase. Arriving at a hotel, he enters a room where a young woman named Rossana is crying. The room is strewn with broken furniture and clothes lie on the floor. Laurent is almost certain that his wife Danielle is to blame for this. Meanwhile, in an expensive apartment a woman is responding to the questions put to her by police officer Bertrand. She is Renée Plèges, the owner of an antiques shop. That evening, she found her daughter Danielle shot dead. Renée explains that Laurent, her son-in-law, wanted to leave Danielle. When she refused to divorce him, he killed her. While Bertrand asks Renée to tell him everything she remembers since the first day she met Laurent, the latter recounts to his mistress Rossana the events that took place before Danielle’s death. Two completely different stories emerge. Then Danielle’s personal diary is found, bringing a third explanation of what took place that evening… Read More »

Marcel Carné – Le Quai des brumes aka Port of Shadows [+Extras] (1938)

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Synopsis
Down a foggy, desolate road to the port city of Le Havre travels Jean (Jean Gabin), an army deserter looking for another chance to make good on life. Fate, however, has a different plan for him, as acts of both revenge and kindness render him front-page news. Also starring the blue-eyed phenomenon Michèle Morgan in her first major role, and the menacing Michel Simon, Port of Shadows (Le Quai des brumes) starkly portrays an underworld of lonely souls wrestling with their own destinies. Based on the novel by Pierre Mac Orlan, the inimitable team of director Marcel Carné and writer Jacques Prévert deliver a quintessential example of poetic realism and a classic film from the golden age of French cinema. Read More »