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BACK TO THE WALL
LE DOS AU MUR
1958, Gaumont, 93 min, Dir: Édouard Molinaro

Before moving to comedies, director Édouard Molinaro began his career with several superb thrillers; this is his most auspicious debut. Gérard Oury is a cuckolded husband who devises an ingenious revenge against his cheating wife (Jeanne Moreau, looking just as luminous and sad-eyed as she did in ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS) only to have it backfire, setting in motion his increasingly desperate efforts at a cover-up. Molinaro revels in the use of classic noir devices (flashbacks, voiceovers) to create a unique mood in a film that’s guaranteed to scratch your “noir itch.” With Philippe Nicaud. In French with English subtitles.


UN TEMOIN DANS LA VILLE
WITNESS IN THE CITY
1959, Gaumont, 86 min, France/Italy, Dir: Édouard Molinaro

France's greatest character lead in the 1960s and ’70s, Lino Ventura, has his breakout role here as a revenge murderer who, finding that his “perfect crime” was witnessed by a cab driver, must try to eliminate him. As events unfold, Ventura finds that he is as much hunted as hunter. Stunning night photography from Henri Decaë (BOB LE FLAMBEUR, ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS), and an evocative score featuring jazz greats Kenny Clarke and Kenny Dorham. In French with English subtitles.


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