CHAIR DE POULE
HIGHWAY PICKUP
1963, 107 min, France/Italy, Dir: Julien Duvivier

Legendary director Julien Duvivier (PÉPÉ LE MOKO) was nearing the end of his illustrious career, but he saved one of the best for last in this taut tale of fate, lust and enveloping entrapment. Robert Hossein is a thief on the lam who jumps from frying pan into the fire when he holes up at a highway truck stop and is quickly embroiled in the grasping schemes of a hard-bitten, voluptuous vixen (Catherine Rouvel) who will stop at nothing to get what she wants! Costarring Jean Sorel and Jacques Bertrand, with photography from Léonce-Henri Burel, longtime right-hand man of Robert Bresson. In French with English subtitles.


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.


PEPE LE MOKO
1937, Rialto Pictures, 94 min, France, Dir: Julien Duvivier

Fugitive Jean Gabin hides out from women, the law and fellow criminals in the Casbah of Algiers. He's safe in the Casbah's labyrinth until passion (in the form of a lovely Parisian playgirl) tempts him out into the open. This classic of French cinema influenced everything from American remakes to a Warner Bros. cartoon character (Pepe Le Pew) and Michael Curtiz’s CASABLANCA. In French with English subtitles.


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