THE DAMNED
LES MAUDITS
1947, Cohen Films, 105 min, Dir: René Clément

Claustrophobic action on the high seas has never been so packed with tension when a doctor (Henri Vidal) kidnapped by a group of desperate Nazis fleeing for South America in a submarine must keep the mistress of a general (Florence Marly) alive and somehow escape his own death at the hands of the absconding war criminals. René Clément brilliantly depicts a deadly cat-and-mouse game in the tightest of all possible spaces. The film was the recipient of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1947. With Marcel Dalio, Anne Campion, Michel Auclair and Paul Bernard. In French with English subtitles.


ROMAN HOLIDAY
1953, Paramount, 118 min, Dir: William Wyler

A real-life princess (Audrey Hepburn), weary of her sheltered existence, takes off on her own to see the sights of Rome, only to encounter romance in the form of suave Gregory Peck. But unbeknownst to Hepburn, Peck is really a reporter out for a story, a fact that inevitably complicates things as the two grow more intimate. This sweet-natured romantic comedy won three Oscars, including Best Actress for Hepburn.


LA BELLE ET LA BETE
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
1946, Janus Films, 93 min, Dir: Jean Cocteau

The first feature directed by Jean Cocteau was a labor of love that attests to the imagination and perseverance of Cocteau and his entire production team in the face of severe deprivations posed by the Occupation. Its Gustave Doré sets and costumes by Christian Berard, its Vermeer-inspired compositions by Henri Alekan (whose cinematography Cocteau characterized as having the "soft gleam of hand-polished old silver"), the Beast's subtle makeup, the fantastic park and architecture of the Beast's castle, the Chateau de Raray, and the delicate beauty of Josette Day all conspired to produce one of the most enchanting films ever made.


Syndicate content