Monday, November 9, 2009

Quand la femme s'en mêle (1957)

After convincing Alain Delon to stay in France (instead of going to America to start his career), director Yves Allégret convinced him and the producers that he was the right person to play the young hitman in his new project Quand la femme s'en mêle. The director said to Delon to be his own self to play the character.

There are lots of big names in this: Jean Servais, Edwige Feuillère, Bernard Blier, Jean Lefebvre, Pierre Mondy. I was surprised that for his first movie role, Alain Delon had quite a big part. He was promising for sure. I like the scene in the pâtisserie where he, after ordering ice cream, leaves Sophie Daumier "I'll be back in a moment," he says - and goes out. Seconds later, while she is eating, there are 3 gun-shots heard. She jumps. He comes back with a hole on his sleeve, smiles to her, and starts to eat his ice cream as if nothing has happened. He looks very innocent. I also like how he jumps into Jean Servais's car. The death scene is wonderful: Jo gets shot in the back twice, almost falls, holds on to the balustrade, rolls down and finally drops dead. His face facing the sky, with hands stretching out.

The movie, although not bad, is not as good as the director's previous projects. Jean Servais plays a cabaret owner named Henri Godot. His mistress Maine (Edwige Feuillère) is annoyed by his rival, so he hires a young hitman, Jo (Alain Delon), to make sure she is safe. Maine's ex-husband, Felix (Bernard Blier), comes to Paris with their daughter Colette (Sophie Daumier). Felix's 2nd wife died in a fire in Grenoble, which he believes was started on purpose by the owner of the building to gain insurance. Felix asks Godot's help to avenge his wife by killing him, but Godot tries to blackmail him instead. Meanwhile, Colette falls in love with Jo.

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