Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
France, 1952. Robert et Raymond Hakim, Spéva Films, Paris Film Productions. Scenario by Jacques Becker, Jacques Companeez, adaptation and dialogue by Jacques Becker. Cinematography by Robert Lefebvre. Produced by Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim, Andre Paulve. Music by Georges Van Parys. Production Design by Jean d’Eaubonne. Costume Design by Mayo. Film Editing by Marguerite Renoir.
Romantic and plush yet unsentimental period film by Jacques Becker. Simone Signoret is wonderful as a turn-of-the-century gangster moll who finds herself totally turned on when Serge Reggiani shows up at a local dance hall and starts pushing her tough friends around. The two of them become crazy about each other, but have to contend with the lurid circumstances of underworld life when two other men, one her current protector and another who continues to offer to make her his kept woman, interfere out of jealousy and make things dicey for the couple. As plotting goes, it can hardly be accused of being the most riveting experience, but its sentimentality is never mawkish or manipulative, the performances are intelligent and the detailing of the period is authentic and beautiful without being distracting or overdone.
The Criterion Collection: #270