Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quai des Orfèvres (1947)

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Quai des Orfèvres is a good film, however it doesn't come close to reaching the quality of The Wages of Fear. The film stars Bernard Blier who plays Maurice Martineau, a musician married to a beautiful singer named Jenny Lamour (Suzy Delair). Jenny is a very ambitious girl; she loves her husband, but getting ahead in the world is very important to her. Maurice sees the way she flirts with other men, and the way they stare and he is a very jealous man. While doing a photo shoot with their good friend Dora (the beautiful Simone Renant), Jenny meets a rich producer named Brignon. Brignon is a "dirty old man", he tells girls that he wants them for pictures so they will sleep with him and take nude photos. Brignon tells Jenny that he wants to sign her on for a picture he’s doing. He makes a date for lunch so that she can meet the director, but of course this isn’t what he has in mind at all. Dora warns Jenny about Brignon, but she won't listen. When Maurice finds out, he goes into a jealous rage and heads down to meet Brignon where he threatens to kill him if he ever contacts Jenny again. Of course Jenny does see him again, she meets him at his home so she can sign a contract. Of course, there is not contract Brignon is just hoping for some action. When Maurice finds out that Jenny is with Brignon it upsets him immensely, so he gets his gun and heads out to kill Brignon. Problem is, when he gets there Brignon is already dead. Cut to Jenny and Dora. Jenny is very upset, she is crying and confesses to Dora that she has just killed Brignon with a bottle of champagne. Another major problem arises when she realizes she left her fox fur at Brignon's home, so Dora volunteers to go retrieve it. So now we have all three main characters at he scene of the murder, on the night of the murder and the police are about to get involved and investigate. Louis Jouvet plays Inspector Antoine, the man in charge of the case. Through the rest of the film, we go through each character’s torture as some try to clear their name, and all of them try to not be caught. Some excellent acting, and a great story with a magnificent ending you won't see coming. Quai des Orfèvres is quite a good little picture that people shouldn't miss, even if it doesn't match up to the masterpiece The Wages of Fear. Overall 3.5/4 Stars Grade = B

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