PANIQUE
1946, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, France, Dir: Julien Duvivier

“If I were an architect and I had to build a monument to the cinema,” wrote Jean Renoir, “I would place a statue of Julien Duvivier above the entrance.” Duvivier made 70 films between 1919 and 1967, many of them landmarks of French cinema. His first postwar project, a noir adaptation of Georges Simenon's Mr. Hire’s Engagement (later adapted by Patrice Leconte as MONSIEUR HIRE), stars Michel Simon as a reviled voyeur framed for a murder by the girl he adores. Now widely considered the finest Simenon adaptation but criticized at the time for its bleakness, the long-unseen PANIQUE has finally been given the vivid restoration it deserves.


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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