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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.

1939, Rialto Pictures, 93 min, Dir: Marcel Carné

Six years before they made film history with CHILDREN OF PARADISE, writer Jacques Prévert and director Marcel Carné teamed up for this landmark of French cinema. Jean Gabin, in one of his best performances, plays a foundry employee driven to murder due to complicated romantic entanglements. With Arletty and Jules Berry. In French with English subtitles.

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