FORBIDDEN GAMES
JEUX INTERDITS
1952, Rialto Pictures, 86 min, France, Dir: René Clément

When her parents are killed by an air strike while fleeing Paris during the German invasion, 5-year-old Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) wanders into the French countryside, where she encounters 11-year-old peasant boy Michel (Georges Poujouly). As they build a special, secret friendship, the adults around them play their own games of buffoonish peasant feuds. Ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing, this masterpiece of French postwar cinema won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.


THE PROUD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
LES ORGUEILLEUX
1953, Pathé, 103 min, France/Mexico, Dir: Yves Allegret

Was director Yves Allegret “answering” Henri-Georges Clouzot with this film, where the setting is highly reminiscent of the oppressive atmosphere permeating THE WAGES OF FEAR? Here, however, there is no harrowing adventure tale at the dark center of the story - only the ravaged lives of two lost souls (Gérard Philipe, a doctor whose dalliance in a sweltering Mexican town has reduced him to a hopeless drunk; Michèle Morgan, a woman whose life hangs in the balance once her disreputable husband dies during the outset of a raging typhoid epidemic). What happens to these two is the crux of this powerful melo-noir that dares to take both of them to the brink of degradation, with only the barest chance of escape. Adapted by Jean Aurenche from a play by Jean-Paul Sartre.


LOVE IS MY PROFESSION
EN CAS DE MALHEUR
1958, 105 min, France/Italy, Dir: Claude Autant-Lara

Distinguished lawyer Jean Gabin defends Brigitte Bardot, a prostitute who has committed a robbery. After he gets her acquitted, she becomes his mistress. Alas, Gabin’s efforts to teach Bardot some class run into trouble in the form of her other lover - a handsome young student (Franco Interlenghi) with a murderous temper. With Edwige Feuillère. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon. In French with English subtitles.


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