DESTINY
1944, Universal, 65 min, Dir: Julien Duvivier, Reginald Le Borg

Originally intended to be the opening tale of FLESH AND FANTASY, Universal elected to turn this segment into a 65-minute stand-alone feature, its added passages directed by Reginald Le Borg. A pair of robbers (Alan Curtis and Frank Craven) hide out in rural Paradise Valley, where the townsfolk are so pleasant and trusting that the crooks eagerly map out a plan to rob them blind. But a farmer’s daughter (Gloria Jean), who really is blind, has a big surprise in store for one of them.


FLESH AND FANTASY
1943, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Julien Duvivier

Considered one of the greatest French directors (his PEPÉ LE MOKO is the virtual template for the “poetic realism” that informed film noir), Duvivier escaped the war years at home by bringing his incredible style to several offbeat Hollywood films of the early 1940s. This anthology of slightly supernatural tales - a proto-“Twilight Zone,” if you will - features a dazzling cast of stars (Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Boyer, Betty Field, Robert Cummings, Thomas Mitchell) and exceptional camerawork by Stanley Cortez and Paul Ivano.


AU BONHEUR DES DAMES
1930, 89 min, France, Dir: Julien Duvivier

AU BONHEUR DES DAMES is a tale of corporate greed crushing the competition and squeezing out the little guy. Though the story sounds like it was torn from today's headlines, AU BONHEUR DES DAMES is a fascinating classic from the silent era. The legendary German actress and fashion icon Dita Parlo (GRAND ILLUSION), whose exotic look and glamorous mystique inspired Madonna, stars as Denise, an orphan girl who comes to Paris to work in her uncle's small shop. Instead, she takes a job in the big department store across the street, which is trying to run her uncle out of business. Perhaps the last great silent production to come out of France, this melodrama is based on a novel by Emile Zola and directed by Julien Duvivier.


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