THE ASSASSIN LIVES AT 21
L’ASSASSIN HABITE A 21
1942, Janus Films, 84 min, France, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Inspector Wems is back in this claustrophobic murder mystery by first-time director Henri-Georges Clouzot. This time, it’s Clouzot’s show all the way, as the director finds his stride in giving his star Pierre Fresnay room to be completely exasperated by the chaos surrounding him. A superb and eccentric thriller from the famed director of DIABOLIQUE and THE WAGES OF FEAR.


THE LAST OF THE SIX
LE DERNIER DES SIX
1941, Gaumont, 90 min, France, Dir: Georges Lacombe

When a group of old friends prepares to share their fortunes with one another, their meeting is threatened by a series of mysterious murders. LE DERNIER DES SIX, though directed by Georges Lacombe, shows Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unmistakable hand in shaping the script, setting up the striking oppositions between grim, atmospheric crime scenes and the near-slapstick interactions of Inspector Wems (Pierre Fresnay) with his histrionic, high-maintenance girlfriend (played with flair by Clouzot’s then-girlfriend, Suzy Delair).


MANON
1949, 96 min, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

One of director Henri-Georges Clouzot’s most neglected masterpieces and winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1949, MANON was his blistering response to the hypocritical reaction in France to LE CORBEAU. Updating Abbe Prevost’s classic novel to postwar France, the film stars newcomer Cécile Aubrey (sex-kitten precursor to Brigitte Bardot) as a prostitute who is condemned as a collaborationist for sleeping with Germans during the war. She’s rescued from the noose by a smitten resistance fighter (Michel Auclair) – but once the couple flees from Normandy, Manon’s desire for the good things in life leads her directly to Parisian black markets and brothels, a debauched course that can result only in self-destruction. With Serge Reggiani. In French with English subtitles.


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