Tag Archives: René Clément

René Clément – Gervaise (1956)

Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys… She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)… But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up… A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel “L’Assomoir”, depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol. Read More »

René Clément – Le mura di Malapaga AKA The Walls of Malapaga AKA Beyond the Gates (1949)

After murdering his mistress and being hunted by the authorities in France, Pierre (Jean Gabin) stows away aboard a ship bound for Genoa, Italy. Though he’s immediately robbed after arriving, things look up for Pierre when he meets Cecchina (Vera Talchi), a kind-hearted young girl who introduces him to her mother, Marta (Isa Miranda). Pierre and Marta fall in love, but the French police are closing in on him and the new couple may not have much time left. Read More »

René Clément – Le passager de la pluie AKA Rider on the Rain [+Extras] (1970)

Synopsis (possible spoilers):
‘A beautiful young woman in the South of France is stalked by, then raped by, a mysterious masked assailant. She shoots him dead soon afterwards and dumps his corpse in the sea. Later, an American investigator turns up, and to her horror he seems to know everything about what she has done.’
– Jonathon Dabell (IMDb) Read More »

René Clément – La bataille du rail AKA The Battle of the Rails (1946)

La Bataille du Rail (Battle of the Rails) is regarded by many cineastes as the one truly great French “resistance” film. Based on fact, the episodic plotline details the courageous efforts by French railray workers to sabotage Nazi reinforcement-troop trains. The film’s thesis is that this underground activity was largely responsible for the allied victory on D-Day. Writer-director Rene Clement enhanced the reality of the story by filming on actual locations and using genuine railway employees and resistance fighters in the cast. Admittedly slow going at times, La Bataille du Rail is more successful as a morale-booster than as pure entertainment. Read More »

René Clément – Plein soleil AKA Purple Noon (1960)


Purple Noon is a taut, intelligently written, and well crafted film about an amoral criminal. Tom Ripley (Alain Delon), commissioned to find and bring home an old school acquaintance named Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet), the errant son of a wealthy San Francisco businessman, is quickly seduced by the lifestyle of the idle rich. Without independent means, the parasitic Tom immediately leeches onto the squandering, philandering Philippe, who only seems too eager to flaunt his wealth and humiliate him. Soon, Tom’s pervasive presence turns a leisurely yachting cruise with Philippe’s girlfriend, Marge (Marie Laforet), into a claustrophobic nightmare. After instigating an argument between the two lovers, causing Marge to leave, Tom sets his plot in motion to assume Philippe’s identity. Purple Noon is a highly stylized and insidiously clever film on committing the perfect crime. Read More »

René Clément – Plein soleil AKA Purple Noon [+Extras] (1960)

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‘Tom Ripley and Philippe Greenleaf are lately inseparable friends. They’re both idling in Europe, but on papa Greenleaf’s dime. Philippe’s fiancee Marge feels sorry for Tom but resents his presence, while Philippe’s other friend, Freddie, considers Tom Ripley a worthless moocher. But there’s more to Tom Ripley, the mimic, the forger, the talented criminal improviser, than anyone, even Tom Ripley himself, can guess.’
– J. Spurlin (IMDb) Read More »

René Clément – Monsieur Ripois aka Knave of hearts (1954)


The Italian neo-realist influence that is so evident in René Clément’s Oscar-winning 1949 film Au-delà des grilles is also felt in this quirky romantic comedy, through its use of real locations (mostly in the bustling centre of London) and fluid, documentary-style photography. Along with some of his contemporaries (notably Georges Franju and Jean-Pierre Melville) René Clément had started to trail-blaze a new kind of cinema, departing from the conventions of the quality tradition that had grown stale and predictable by the early 1950s, and laying the groundwork for the French New Wave. If you did not know that Clément had directed Monsieur Ripois, you might easily mistake it for an early offering from one of the Nouvelle Vague filmmakers – Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Louis Malle or François Truffaut. Read More »