LA DAME D’ONZE HEURES
1948, Lobster Films, 97 min, France, Dir: Jean-Devaivre

Among the most accomplished features by director Jean-Devaivre (whose career helped inspire Bertrand Tavernier’s SAFE CONDUCT), this thriller puts the conventions of the detective film to wonderfully entertaining use. When a pharmaceutical magnate begins receiving anonymous threatening letters, Stanislas-Octave Seminario (future DIABOLIQUE star Paul Meurisse) is enlisted to help; as “SOS” investigates, the mystery deepens when a member of the magnate’s family is poisoned, murmuring “the lady of eleven o'clock” as he died.


LE MONTE-CHARGE
1962, Gaumont, 90 min, France/Italy, Dir: Marcel Bluwal

A highly fruitful collaboration between actor-director Robert Hossein and hard-boiled novelist Frédéric Dard (THE WICKED GO TO HELL, BLONDE IN A WHITE CAR) comes to an end with this spooky sendup of ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, where ex-con Hossein returns to his old criminal haunts on Christmas Eve only to hook up with a mysterious, alluring woman (Lea Massari) whose circumstances become more complicated and bizarre as the evening progresses. In the midst of the “elevating” terror, one senses director Bluwal’s tongue subtly in cheek.


Syndicate content