PANIQUE
1946, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, France, Dir: Julien Duvivier

“If I were an architect and I had to build a monument to the cinema,” wrote Jean Renoir, “I would place a statue of Julien Duvivier above the entrance.” Duvivier made 70 films between 1919 and 1967, many of them landmarks of French cinema. His first postwar project, a noir adaptation of Georges Simenon's Mr. Hire’s Engagement (later adapted by Patrice Leconte as MONSIEUR HIRE), stars Michel Simon as a reviled voyeur framed for a murder by the girl he adores. Now widely considered the finest Simenon adaptation but criticized at the time for its bleakness, the long-unseen PANIQUE has finally been given the vivid restoration it deserves.


MAIGRET AND THE ST. FIACRE CASE
MAIGRET ET L’AFFAIRE SAINT-FIACRE
1959, Kino Lorber, 101 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean Delannoy

Screen icon Jean Gabin returns as Georges Simenon’s redoubtable French inspector in this superbly crafted crime drama. The action starts when Maigret is summoned by the Countess (Valentine Tessier) to the Château de Saint-Fiacre, where she shows him a letter she has received predicting the day on which she will die.


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