PORT DU DESIR
HOUSE ON THE WATERFRONT
1955, Pathé, 94 min, France, Dir: Edmond T. Gréville

A sea captain turned salvage expert (Gabin) finds himself involved in an ever-darkening missing persons case that leads to the Marseille mob after a young woman (Andrée Debar) asks for his help in locating her sister. Director Gréville gives us fabulously seedy barroom interiors, dockside intrigue and riveting underwater sequences in what might be the first example of “film soleil” - a movie with all the sordid attributes of noir, but shot (mostly) in bright sunlight. With tragic ’50s heartthrob Henri Vidal as the reluctant diver who falls in love with Debar. A unique entry in Gabin's illustrious career!


SUCH A PRETTY LITTLE BEACH
UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE
1949, Pathe, 91 min, France/Netherlands, Dir: Yves Allégret

In endless rain on France’s Breton coast, Gérard Philipe gives his most unforgettable performance as a man on the run in Yves Allegret’s UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE. It’s surely one of the bleakest - and wettest - noirs of all time, with an unforgettable cast of cynical and compromised characters, with Madeleine Robinson as the only ray of light in Philipe’s desperate attempt to escape his plight.


THE DAMNED
LES MAUDITS
1947, Cohen Films, 105 min, Dir: René Clément

Claustrophobic action on the high seas has never been so packed with tension when a doctor (Henri Vidal) kidnapped by a group of desperate Nazis fleeing for South America in a submarine must keep the mistress of a general (Florence Marly) alive and somehow escape his own death at the hands of the absconding war criminals. René Clément brilliantly depicts a deadly cat-and-mouse game in the tightest of all possible spaces. The film was the recipient of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1947. With Marcel Dalio, Anne Campion, Michel Auclair and Paul Bernard. In French with English subtitles.


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