SUCH A PRETTY LITTLE BEACH
UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE
1949, Pathe, 91 min, France/Netherlands, Dir: Yves Allégret

In endless rain on France’s Breton coast, Gérard Philipe gives his most unforgettable performance as a man on the run in Yves Allegret’s UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE. It’s surely one of the bleakest - and wettest - noirs of all time, with an unforgettable cast of cynical and compromised characters, with Madeleine Robinson as the only ray of light in Philipe’s desperate attempt to escape his plight.


THE WANTON
MANÈGES
1950, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, Dir: Yves Allégret

We move from the bathtub to the stable as Simone Signoret plays the two-timing wife of a hopeless milquetoast (Bernard Blier, perfect as always), who is in cahoots with her venal, grasping mother (Jane Marken) to milk him of all his funds before moving on to higher game. Things don’t quite go as planned! Director Yves Allégret proved unfortunately prophetic with this nasty tale - a few months after completing the film, Signoret (who had been his girlfriend for five years) left him for Yves Montand. In French with English subtitles.


DÉDÉE D'ANVERS
1948, 86 min, France, Dir: Yves Allégret

Bursting through the echoes of “poetic realism” contained within its narrative, this underworld drama showcases the emergence of Simone Signoret, a hooker with a hankering for a better life. The original femme fatale, Signoret is both luminous and complex, presaging a series of follow-up performances in similarly themed films over the next half-decade. A trio of indelible actors (Marcelo Pagliero, Marcel Dalio, Bernard Blier) provides Dédée with ecstasy, agony and sympathy, respectively. In French with English subtitles.


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