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Quai des Orfevres (Criterion Collection) (1947)

Cast: Louis Jouvet, Louis Jouvet, Bernard Blier, more...
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Henri-Georges Clouzot
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, Crime, Cops, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Following a three-year suspension from filmmaking after his Le Corbeau (1943) was judged too critical of his native France, director Henri-Georges Clouzot returned with this thriller that's equal parts crime drama and character study. Suzy Delair stars as Jenny Lamour, an ambitious music hall singer who wants to be a star and is willing to befriend the lecherous old men who ogle her act, inspiring the jealousy of Jenny's husband Maurice Martineau (Bernard Blier). One particular fan of Jenny's is a wealthy financial backer who extends repeated invitations to the entertainer to join him at fine restaurants and his expansive mansion. Armed with a gun, Maurice goes to the estate to confront his rival one night but discovers that the master of the house is already dead, his wife having smashed a bottle of champagne over his head to stave off a sexual advance. Soon, a gruff but dedicated detective, Inspector Antoine (Louis Jouvet) is on the case, with Maurice taking the heat for Jenny. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A wonderful cake with raisins and candies on top by BSauer December 7, 2007 - 7:52 AM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Clouzot's remarkable telling of what on the surface seems to be a simple police procedural starts off a bit like a standard tale of a young artist's rise to stardom (though in the vaudeville-like theatre's of Paris). Things go awry (of course), and while the viewer nods knowingly it is then that both the film's characters and the viewer are caught in Clouzot's snare. In this Clouzot achieves a marvelous immediacy of the viewer with each character's worries, apprehension and inevitability. The acting is top-notch by all. The character of Dora (played by Simone Renant) is brilliant: she is a savvy and remarkably tough cookie, hardly the one dimensional role so often found in films at this time. The film even has 1) a scene featuring a completely authentic medical procedure (shot with real doctors and nurses on the set) now only seldom performed in that fashion, and 2) Christmas happening in the background. Also included on the DVD are fascinating 1971 interviews from Au Cinéma ce Soir with the films principals. Highly recommended. As Jouvet (who plays the inspecteur) is quoted to have observed, Clouzot is like a character from Dickens.

Fantastically good by JKelly March 18, 2006 - 12:34 AM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
It's a joy to watch a movie that is made with such apparent freedom, unafraid to throw fiesty characters right in your face. We see various groups of people in France right after WWII: entertainers and their backstage support, police, news hounds. Some caricaturish types. A surprisingly complex path of leads for what seemed like a simple crime. And I have to say, something that comes to light at the end would never be part of an american macho noir film.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.74)
81 Votes
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Broadway, Vaudeville, Burlesque & Theater
Vintage entertainment, variety acts, musical numbers and the legitimate theater
Noir Themes & Sinister Schemes
Dark themed films of murder, scams, cons, gangsters, femme fatales and nefarious deeds.

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