HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  56, rue Pigalle A Woman In LoveBuy this film here.
Year: 1949
Director: Willy Rozier
Stars: Jacques Dumesnil, Marie Déa, Aimé Clariond, Raymond Cordy, Janine Miller, René Blancard, Jean Geoffroy, Marco Villa, Jacqueline Johel, Roger Monteaux, Denyse Roux, Félix Clément, Lucien Callamand, Bonsch, Henri Belfor, Lodia
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jean Vigneron (Jacques Dumesnil) is a naval engineer who when out racing one of his vessels in a sailing competition, caught sight of Inès (Marie Déa) in her husband's boat and was immediately smitten. Hers was an unhappy marriage and she sought distraction that Jean could provide and soon they were conducting an affair, but this had not gone unnoticed by his manservant Lucien Bonnet (René Blancard) who sets about blackmailing his boss to make a pretty penny. The trouble with that is, Lucien moves in sinister circles, and soon what happens to him lands Jean in even hotter water...

There's one reason 56, Rue Pigalle is recalled, if at all, today, and it was nothing to do with what happened in the film itself, it was about the reaction to it. When it was released in France, critic François Chalais wrote about it in most unflattering terms which so enraged its director and writer Willy Rozier that he challenged the man to a duel, with swords rather than guns, as if this was some slight where recompense could only be met by slapping the offending party in the face with a glove and getting on with attempting to inflict a mortal wound - if you've seen Barry Lyndon, you get the idea.

Chalais accepted the challenge, and it was filmed for a newsreel, depicting him and the dark glasses-sporting Rozier going at it with their rapiers for a few minutes, until Chalais was wounded - but not mortally, he simply received a nasty graze on his forearm and it was decided his opponent had won the day. All of this generated considerable publicity for this film in France, with the consequence that it was a big hit at the box office, though how many audiences saw it and thought Chalais had a point went unrecorded, as when you came down to it, this was a frequently illogical melodrama trying a Gallic spin on Hollywood film noir.

That was perhaps ironic because the French critics had given this American genre of dramatic thrillers its blanket term in the first place, but those Americans (who quite often were Europeans) had been influenced in turn by the French cinema of the nineteen-thirties, as well as German expressionism, to fashion their own style. But what was for sure, nobody saw 56, rue Pigalle in Hollywood and thought, yes, that's what we've been missing, let's do more like that, please! This was down to it being a mishmash of a plot that could not settle on what it wanted to be, whether that was a torrid romance (the lovers are frankly miserable), a murder yarn, a courtroom drama or a "natives are restless" jungle adventure on the Congolese plantation.

More certain was that it did not succeed as any of those, it stumbled from scene to scene in anguished but uncompelling manner and stubbornly refused to jump to life: now you understand why it is little recalled, one of countless mediocre potboilers thrown up by the world’s film industries that may win a release, but that's no guarantee it will stick in the memory. You're tempted to believe Rozier's antics with the duel was a cheap publicity stunt, except he genuinely believed he was a great talent, notwithstanding nobody remembers him either, apart from his cinematic output. The most thought-provoking aspect was the critical one, as in this age when the internet has made anyone a critic, you have to wonder about the effect a poor review will have, maybe not going as far as prompting a duel, but it's wise to choose your words carefully. Not with this, however, nobody involved is still alive so you can say what you like and no feelings will be hurt. Music by Jean Yatove.

[This is the bonus movie you get with Eureka's The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter Blu-ray. Other extras are footage of that duel, and a Brigitte Bardot gallery.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1111 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: