CASQUE D’OR
1952, Janus Films, 96 min, France, Dir: Jacques Becker

Do not miss this sublime masterpiece of romantic French cinema - simultaneously a heartbreaking adult fairy tale and an impressionist rendering of the turn-of-the-century Parisian underworld. The fleeting moments of shared love and erotic passion between Serge Reggiani and Simone Signoret are genuine poetry - moments cut short by the jealous machinations of others.


GATES OF THE NIGHT
PORTES DE LA NUIT
1946, Janus Films, 100 min, France, Dir: Marcel Carné

Director Marcel Carné and collaborator Jacques Prévèrt, the toast of French cinema in 1945 with the release of the epic CHILDREN OF PARADISE, found themselves in the doghouse with critics and audiences alike when they released their follow-up, GATES OF THE NIGHT. A troubled production history (original stars Jean Gabin and Marlene Dietrich bailed out), a contentious storyline (no one was happy with the pointed references to the black market that had sprung up after the Liberation) and the film’s unremitting darkness raised eyebrows and hackles when it was released in 1946. Seventy years later, however, the film can be seen as a singular, masterful work, filled with colorful and mysterious performances - including a young and highly appealing Yves Montand. With Pierre Brasseur, Serge Reggiani, Jean Vilar and Nathalie Nattier.


LE DOULOS
THE FINGERMAN
1962, Rialto Pictures, 108 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

Director Jean-Pierre Melville met actor Jean-Paul Belmondo during Melville's brief cameo in Godard’s BREATHLESS - here, he gives Belmondo one of his best roles, that of a two-faced informer caught between the police and his “old pal,” played by doom-faced Serge Reggiani. “It was only when LE DOULOS was finished and Belmondo saw himself on the screen that he realized, with great astonishment, ‘Christ! The stoolie is me!’” - Melville.


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