DEADLIER THAN THE MALE
VOICI LE TEMPS DES ASSASSINS
1956, Pathe International, 107 min, France, Dir: Julien Duvivier

While the other French femmes fatales are “hot,” none of them approach the coiled ferocity of Danièle Delorme here, driven to a life of ruthless scheming by her hardscrabble youth. Matching her step for step are Jean Gabin, the target of her desperate, malevolent plans; Germain Kerjean as his cold-hearted mother; Gerard Blain as his clueless surrogate son; and Luciene Bogart as Delorme’s drug-addicted mother. Featuring superb camerawork by Armand Thiraud (Clouzot's frequent collaborator), DEADLIER THAN THE MALE is arguably the definitive French film noir. In French with English subtitles.


THE TRUTH
LA VERITÉ
1960, Sony Repertory, 130 min, France/Italy, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Brigitte Bardot tops her amazing work with Godard and Vadim in this scorching portrait of amour fou. She stars as Dominique, a hedonistic free spirit on trial for the murder of her lover, musician Sami Frey. Clouzot breaks ground in his fearless look at private insecurities, revealing what supposedly constitutes a “sordid” lifestyle, and why it is so threatening to bourgeois society. Co-written by Clouzot and his wife, Véra (star of DIABOLIQUE). Winner of the 1961 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. In French with English subtitles.


THE WAGES OF FEAR
LE SALAIRE DE LA PEUR
1953, Janus Films, 131 min, France, Italy, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Later remade as William Friedkin’s SORCERER, Pauline Kael called this nail-biting thriller “the most original and shocking French melodrama of the ’50s.” When one of its South American wells catches fire, an oil company hires four drivers to transport the nitroglycerin needed to extinguish it. Yves Montand stars as one of the men desperate enough to carry the explosive cargo over very rough mountain roads. In French with English subtitles.


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