Julien Duvivier

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Scharphedin2
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#1 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:50 am

Julien Duvivier (1896-1967)

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Filmography

Haceldama ou le prix du sang (1919)

La Reincarnation de Serge Renaudier (1920)

Der Unheimliche Gast (1922)

L'Ouragan sur la montagne (1922)

L'Agonie des aigles (1922)

Les Roquevillard (1922)

Le Reflet de Claude Mercoeur (1923)

L'Oeuvre immortelle (1924)

Coeurs farouches (1924)

La Machine à refaire la vie (1924)

Credo ou la tragédie de Lourdes (1924)

Poil de carotte (1925)

L'Abbeé Constantin (1925)

L'Homme à l'Hispano (1926)

Le Mystère de la tour Eiffel (1927)

Le Mariage de Mademoiselle Beulemans (1927)

L'Agonie de Jérusalem (1927)

Le Tourbillon de Paris (1928)

La Vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin (1929)

La Divine croisière (1929)

Maman Colibri (1929)

David Golder (1929)

Au bonheur des dames (1930)

Die Fünf verfluchten Gentlemen (1931)

Les Cinq gentlemen maudits (1931)

La Vénus du collège (1932)

Allo Berlin? Ici Paris! (1932)

Poil de carotte (1932)

La Machine à refaire la vie (1933)

La Tête d'un homme (1933)

Le Petit roi (1933)

Le Paquebot Tenacity (1934)

Maria Chapdelaine (1934) - Warner* (R2 FR)

Golgotha (1935) - 20th Century Fox (R2 FR)

La Bandera (1935) - Warner* (R2 FR) / Cinema Libre (R1) / Vanguard (R1)

Le Golem (1936)

La Belle équipe (1936)

L'Homme du jour (1937)

Pépé le Moko (1937) - Criterion / Studio Canal (R2 FR) / Optimum Releasing (R2 UK)

Un carnet de bal (1937)

The Great Waltz (1938)

La Fin du jour (1939)

La Charrette fantôme (1939)

Lydia (1941)

Tales of Manhattan (1942)

Untel père et fils (1943) - Alpha Video (R1)

Flesh and Fantasy (1943) - Universal (R2 FR)

The Impostor (1944)

Panique (1947)

Anna Karenina (1948) - 20th Century Fox (R1) / Madacy (R1)

Au royaume des cieux (1949)

Black Jack (1950)

Sous le ciel de Paris (1951) - René Chateau (R2 FR)

Petit monde de Don Camillo (1952) - Universal (R2 FR) / Kinowelt (R2 DE)

La Fête à Henriette (1952)

Le Retour de Don Camillo (1953) - Universal (R2 FR)

L'Affaire Maurizius (1954)

Marianne, meine Jugendliebe (1955)

Marianne de ma jeunesse (1955)

Voici le temps des assassins (1956) - René Chateau (R2 FR)

L'Homme à l'imperméable (1957)

Pot-Bouille (1957) - Studio Canal (R2 FR)

La Femme et la pantin (1959) - Alcome Distribution (R2 FR)

Marie-Octobre (1959) - 20th Century Fox (R2 FR)

Das Kunstseidene Mädchen (1960)

Boulevard (1960)

La Chambre ardente (1962)

Le Diable et les dix commandements (1962) - René Chateau (R2 FR) / Concorde (R2 DE)

Chair de poule (1963) - Studio Canal (R2 FR)

Diaboliquement vôtre (1967) - Studio Canal (R2 FR)

* Coffret Jean Gabin - Warner (R2 FR)


Forum Discussion

French Film from 1930 - 1939

Web Resources

BIFI

DVDclassik (discussion of the recent French court case about the publication rights of some Duvivier titles)

Film Forum

Films de France

Print Material

Julien Duvivier (Yves Desrichard, Durante, 2001)

Julien Duvivier. le mal aimant du cinema français [2 volumes] (Eric Bonnefille, L'Harmattan, 2002)

Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film (Dudley Andrew, Princeton UP, 1995)


-- Thanks to Kinsayder and Davidhare for providing helpful information for this Forum Resources thread.

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Kinsayder
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Julien Duvivier

#2 Post by Kinsayder » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:50 am

There's some interesting news in Le Monde about a falling-out between René Chateau Video and the estate of director Julien Duvivier.

In summary, RCV has been fined 30,000 Euros and forbidden from (re)publishing 11 of Duvivier's films: 9 silents made between 1925 and 1929, plus "La Belle Equipe" (1936) and "La Fin du Jour" (1939).

Having recently seen "La Belle Equipe" in the version with the tacked-on happy ending, I've been hoping for a restored reissue of this classic. But I guess it's not going to come from RCV any time soon...

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david hare
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#3 Post by david hare » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:24 pm

Fascinating Kinsayder.

The article is a bit sparse on fact but I assume RC hadn't paid Spaak and Duvivier jnr royalties. What a blow - this will only result in another indefinite spell in limbo for these titles. Several of them including Belle Equipe are extremely important. I wonder if the giant second hand VHS store just off Boul' Saint Germain still has stock (it did last year, and I can't remember the name of the place.)

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htdm
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#4 Post by htdm » Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:37 am

The Japanese DVD has both endings, but the only subtitle option is Japanese.

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Kinsayder
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#5 Post by Kinsayder » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:11 am

Thanks, dmkb. I have the René Château Japanese edition, but hadn't noticed an option to play both endings (probably because my Japanese is non-existent). I shall have another look at the disc.

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david hare
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#6 Post by david hare » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:35 pm

Slightly OT but according to the article one of the co-litigants was the estate of Charles Spaak. This may also account for the non-availablity of both Gueule d'Amour and la Petite Lise, both old RC VHS, and both of course scripted by Spaak.

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Gordon
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#7 Post by Gordon » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:29 pm

Very interesting. Just the other day, I was searching the web for info on his 1935 Christ film, Golgotha, which was a very controversial film in its day - was it the first mainstream portrayal of Christ in the Sound Era? Gabin as Pilate? [Scooby Doo sound of confusion] :shock: Is the tone/style similar to Pasolini's film?

Anyway, this is very disappointing news, as it will no doubt delay DVDs of Duvivier films in the U.S. and UK.

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Kinsayder
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#8 Post by Kinsayder » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:48 pm

There is a French discussion thread with some more information about the case here:

http://www.dvdclassik.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=19338&

It all looks horribly complicated, involving production companies going into liquidation without leaving proper records of ownership.

In the case of "La Belle Equipe", the main grievance of Christian Duvivier was that TV companies keep showing his father's film in the happy ending version. Apparently the only exisiting prints of the version with the tragic ending that Julien Duvivier preferred have German subtitles burnt in.

Whether all this is going to result in the contested films becoming available again is an interesting question, though the fact that René Château have been accusing Christian Duvivier of having "no desire to publish his father's work" doesn't sound too promising. But then again René Château themselves haven't been doing much with the films outside Japan. Duvivier's masterpiece "Poil de carotte" doesn't seem to have had a DVD release anywhere in all the time RC have owned it!

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david hare
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#9 Post by david hare » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:01 pm

Gordon there's a hilarious photo in Dudley Andrew's "Mists of Regret" of Gabin in Golgotha, in toga with Roman pageboy coiff,as Pontius Pilate. Not a good look, hon. I am finding it very difficult to reconcile Duviv's religious pics (which I've never seen) with the boisterous sexuality of things like Pepe, and la Bandera - also Gabin, with bare-breasted Flamenco dancers and drag queens hanging off his arm!!

Kinsayder RCV is a genuinely weird company, going on their catalogue alone. Matt was waxing about their great Panther intro a while ago. But their range is bizarre - Duviv (understandable), Louis de Funes (ghastly but understandable) then Gremillon and Melville!! There's a store (can't remember the damn name) one of three on Boul. St Germain which has a wall of RCV VHS titles for sale. You can't miss them, just up from Boul' Mich. If unsure go to the sales-fille (they're all filles) and ask "est-ce que vous avez une espace pour video-cassette ici?" See ya there in June! (BTW the dvdklassic forum looks good. I couldn't get to the home page - how do you register?)

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htdm
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#10 Post by htdm » Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:41 am

Gordon McMurphy wrote:Very interesting. Just the other day, I was searching the web for info on his 1935 Christ film, Golgotha, which was a very controversial film in its day - was it the first mainstream portrayal of Christ in the Sound Era? Gabin as Pilate?
Yes, Gabin has a pretty serious bad hair day all throughout this film which was, coincidentally, released in Japan on DVD about 2 years ago (and VHS and Laser before that) and looks pretty damn good But again, French sound/Japanese subtitles only. If you are a Duvivier completist (and who isn't?) you can still pick it up at YesAsia. BTW Kinsayder, the '32 version of Poil de carotte did get a Laser release in Japan years ago, but it looks pretty ragged.

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Kinsayder
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#11 Post by Kinsayder » Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:56 am

davidhare wrote:There's a store (can't remember the damn name) one of three on Boul. St Germain which has a wall of RCV VHS titles for sale. You can't miss them, just up from Boul' Mich. If unsure go to the sales-fille (they're all filles) and ask "est-ce que vous avez une espace pour video-cassette ici?" See ya there in June! (BTW the dvdklassic forum looks good. I couldn't get to the home page - how do you register?)
David, my next Paris trip isn't till September. Make sure you leave a few Duvivier/Gremillon k7s for me!

I'm not registered with Dvdklassic, just an eavesdropper, but it appears to use the same engine as this forum. To register for posting, use the "S'enregistrer" link at the top of the page.

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david hare
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#12 Post by david hare » Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:09 pm

Bien, merci!

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HerrSchreck
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#13 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:33 pm

Looks like another year wearing down the wheels of Hen's Tooth Video (!)VHS of LE GOLEM which is one of the most beautifully photographed (give Alton a run for his money), directed, acted films about a monster with male pattern baldness. I love the way the rubber fingers overlap each other when the Golem breaks the bars of his cell at the end. And Harry Bauer's slovenly paranoiac emperor never ceases to entertain.

Sad that the only CC entry is PEPE (but god do I love that film... was high on that thing for months-- just beyond description. CHILDREN OF THE GODS is always being touted as the premeir example of Poetic Realism, but I'd say that for those classic sartorial asides where the film sorta Weeps With Sad Joy... moments of heightened sad beauty via the crescendoing music, photography, and narrative gloominess all coming together in those patently French self-referential moments, QUAI DE BRUMES & PEPE LE MOKO exemplify the style far more perfectly.

And I see heavy traces of Murnau & Sternberg in all of them.

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david hare
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#14 Post by david hare » Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:12 pm

Yep - there's Morocco stamped all over Pepe. Recommend you dig out the (adequate print) R1 of la Bandera. More classic "mec on the lam" stuff, rather than Poetic realist. You might find the ending either conventionally narrative (dying in vain for the nation) or you might find it resonant of PR. I love the movie for the extremely butch drag queens and topless Flamenco dancers!

EDIT:

Kinsayder, the store is Gibert Joseph at 34 Boul' Mich.

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Kinsayder
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#15 Post by Kinsayder » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:49 pm

A couple of Duvivier DVDs from RC (including Poil de Carotte!) have just been pre-announced at FNAC.

Interesting timing, given the outcome of the recent case.

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david hare
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#16 Post by david hare » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:08 pm

Do you think these will ever make it to sale?

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Kinsayder
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#17 Post by Kinsayder » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:55 am

I'm remaining optimistic until the links stop working. "Poil de carotte" is now also listed at Alapage for 14.99 Euros. Perhaps RC want to prove they're serious about doing something useful with the Duvivier titles they still own.

db
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:49 pm

#18 Post by db » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:00 pm

I have always thought Duvivier was the most underrated French director.On the imdb,I've written comments on his works than on any other director.

Hats off to Patrick Brion,who in the "cinema de minuit" on 3rd French channel ,has often showed his movies. BUT ......There are lots and lots of Duvivier's great films which remain unknown even to his greatest fans!

Is it acceptable that a masterpiece such "la fete à henriette" should never be broadcast when we're fed up with the nouvelle vague clique? And what about "au royaume des cieux"? Before 1986 -when Brion showed it on TV-"Voici le temps des assassins " was virtually unknown.NOw it is hailed as a peak of film noir.

I've been told "sous le ciel de Paris" was to be released on DVD pretty soon.But it's not enough!

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Kinsayder
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#19 Post by Kinsayder » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:01 am

Underrated is the right word (though the Japanese seem to appreciate him, which may explain why they get the bulk of the DVD releases). There's a case for his critical reappraisal made on the Film Forum website, here.

Some good news: it looks like René Chateau are having a second attempt at "Sous le ciel de Paris", after the aborted May release.

Also, there is a R2 release of "La Bandera" announced, as part of a Gabin box set which also includes "Maria Chapdelaine"

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david hare
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#20 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:21 am

I can recommend the RC Poil de Carotte. While a little gray the print looks near mint and a crystal clear sountrack. Also nice prog transfer. (no subs obviously.)

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Knappen
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#21 Post by Knappen » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:05 am

This thread has been dead for a while so I thought it would be about time to report about some new Duvivier releases.

French Warner/Edition Préstige has made the biggest contributions here with the trio Maria Chapdelaine, La Bandera and Boulevard. As you can see in the screen captures section these are fine, restored versions altough Maria Chapdelaine seems to have posed problems since some frames are rather bad. This is a no reason not to invest in a beautiful movie with Gabin in his first big apperance. Kinsayder reports that La Bandera is a "distinct improvement" on the R1. All three films seem to have french subs for hard of hearing so every person with a bit of french understanding and a dictionnary should be able to appreciate these gems. I am not sure if I would call Boulevard a gem but fans of Jean-Pierre Léaud will have a treat. Our major Duvivier specialist Didier Dumonteil on the imdb gives this film an enthousiastic commentary.

The argument seems to have settled between René Chateau and Duvivier fils because Sous le ciel de Paris has been reported seen in french Mk2 stores. I ordered a copy from Alapage some weeks ago and got a mail yesterday saying I would have to wait some longer than expected. This is probably due to RCs clumsy distribution. Their transfers seem to be of progressive quality though, and with very reasonable prices (normally ranging from 10-15€) this is one to pick up.

Image

Last but not least two of Duvivier's american films, The imposter (Gabin's only "english"-speaking role along with Moontide) and Flesh and fantasy are coming out in february from french Universal. The latter seems to be the one with the best reputation and is representative of Duvivier's speciality: the episodic film. For 9,99€ on amazon.fr I am definitely pre-ordering these ones.

The asian market is rather unknown to me but according to the fnac, major films from Duvivier are available though rather costy if you are buying them from their shop.

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Kinsayder
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#22 Post by Kinsayder » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:08 pm

Golgotha has also been pre-announced. Still no sign, though, of Golem, Charrette Fantome or Panique. I'm particularly puzzled as to why Panique has never had a release (unless it's those pesky "héritiers" again!). It's one of the best French noirs of its time, darker, sharper and more misanthropic than Patrice Leconte's rather languid remake.

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Knappen
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#23 Post by Knappen » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:18 pm

Panique is certainly a major film both from Duvivier and Michel Simon and it has one of the greatest endings in screen history.

Oh, I forgot to ask: La tête d'un homme has been announced for years on play.com. Does anyone know if this is a release that was abolished long ago?
And can somebody please tell me what part Duvivier played in the 1938 version of Marie Antoinette?

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#24 Post by mario gauci » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:34 pm

I recently watched Duvivier's obscure LA CHAMBRE ARDENTE aka THE BURNING COURT (1962) in a dubbed version on Italian TV. I'd rate it *** out of **** and, for what it's worth, here's my take on it:

Another "victim" of the French Nouvelle Vague - a distinguished film director who found himself unceremoniously falling out of fashion within critical circles - was undoubtedly Julien Duvivier. Admittedly, his best work was behind him by then in such classic films like PEPE LE MOKO' (1937), UN CARNET DE BAL (1937; one of Michael Caine's favorite films!) and PANIQUE (1947; a rumored upcoming Criterion DVD release) but, if this obscure but richly rewarding suspenser is any indication, his cinematic and narrative skills did not desert him with age.

Apparently, the original source novel by John Dickson Carr is a celebrated (and much more sophisticated) literary piece but even if this film adaptation (by renowned screenwriter Charles Spaak) constitutes an oversimplification, one cannot deny the fact that it is highly polished entertainment nevertheless. The plot ingeniously combines two prolific subgenres in the horror film lexicon, "the old dark house" and "the witch's curse", dealing as it does with an 18th Century witch being deceived by her lover - a policeman dressed as a monk! - thereby unleashing a vengeful curse on his ancestors which decrees that every subsequent head of the family dies a violent death. This event is not depicted in the film but merely referred to throughout and we immediately jump into the present with a female ancestor of the witch - played by the beautiful Edith Scob from Georges Franju's EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959), here with her hair bleached blonde - being invited with her novelist husband to a château in the country which, as it happens, is owned by the ancestors of the witch's duplicitous lover. The latter are a despicable bunch of amoral opportunists with the two young heirs greedily awaiting the demise of their cantankerous 75-year old uncle which could occur at any moment. One night, every member of the household (including his nurse) desert the old man for their own egotistical purposes and Scob and her husband volunteer to stay home and watch over him themselves...

Apart from the illustrious trio in the behind-the-camera personnel (Duvivier, Spaak and music composer Georges Auric), the film boasts atmospheric lighting by Roger Fellous and a cast of willing performers: the afore-mentioned Scob, Jean-Claude Brialy (as the more level-headed of the two heirs), Claude Rich (as his worthless playboy brother), Nadja Tiller (as the lovely nurse who, ultimately, is not as loyal as she makes out to be), etc. There are elements of the supernatural (when the murderer is seen passing through the walls of a closed room by the housekeeper or when the body vanishes from the interred coffin and reappears sitting in a chair in the family chapel) and black comedy (when the mourners at the funeral waltz around the still open coffin at the deceased's own request) involved which only serve to add to the great fun. It would be a mistake to reveal more of the twists and turns the plot takes in the second half of the film - which also introduces the character of a no-nonsense police inspector - but I'll say only that it all ends rather too abruptly perhaps (immediately after the ironic final revelation) leaving the fate of some of the major characters pretty much unresolved.

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david hare
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#25 Post by david hare » Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:40 pm

I won't yet enter into the 50s work which I find far too enangled with Tradition de Qualite/Anti Cahierist issues to fish out Duviv's work for evaluation in its own right.

But I am very interested in the 30s, and I've certainly taken a very different view to the "best work from 1935 to 1939" Orthodxy. Duvivier was, if nothing else a hard working journeyman and the simple fact that he could turn his hand - invariably successfully - to a range of projects as disparate as Religious spectacle, pre-Poetic Realist Drama, Spaakian Front Populaire and others perhaps suggests a felicity of style and mise en scene that is comparable to, say Walsh or Curtiz in American cinema. The real question is how much Walsh or how much Curtiz?

The early thirties work is perhaps exemplary of his capacity for adaptation to whatever material was available, but I think the relative "on-the-fly" freedoms of the rising and falling production regimes of the 30-35 period allows him to both tackle more personally engaging material, and imbue that material with an even more expressive mise en scene. Thus I'm thinking of the astonishingly good la Tete d'un Homme from Simenon which has an expressive audacity not far removed from Renoir's staggeringly brilliant, unique la Nuit du Carrefour. Poil de Carotte very quickly casts aside its initial function as a Harry Baur vehicle and developes into much deeper, darker work. The two Gabin "on the lam" pictures La Bandera and Pepe very effectively consolidate Gabin's iconic status, and, along with the great Spaak written Belle Equipe segue directly through Front Populism into a world of pessimism thematically anticipating Poetic Realism. Other pre-35 works demonstrate a similarly effortless facility with generic material - Pacquboat Tenacity, Allo Berlin? Ici Paris!, the Golem, David Golder, Maria Chapdelaine. The end of the decade certainly sees him at peak form with la Fin du Jour, as a self-refllective work on performance and the theatre/cinema.

Duvivier is undoubtedly one of the major French directors of the pre-war era. With Renoir, Gremillon and Carne. It seems scandalous to me so little of this work is even available in France, let alone English language territories.

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