HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  This Man is Dangerous Lemmy go!
Year: 1953
Director: Jean Sacha
Stars: Eddie Constantine, Colette Deréal, Grégoire Aslan, Claude Borelli, Véra Norman, Jacqueline Pierreux, Roland Bailly, Guy Decomble, Luc Andrieux, Henry Djanik, Émile Genevois
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: After breaking out of a prison in Oklahoma undercover Interpol agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) travels to the French Riviera. There he makes contact with Miranda Van Zelden (Claude Borelli), a young American heiress, and likely target of a gang of kidnappers. Chief among them Siegella (Grégoire Aslan): a notorious crime boss wanted by Interpol. Successfully worming his way into Siegella's gang, who include foxy femme fatale Constance (Colette Deréal), Lemmy stands poised to subvert their kidnap attempt on Miranda and land the necessary evidence to put the mobster away. However he ends up striking a bargain with another gang led by the vengeful Dora (Jacqueline Pierreux) to set Siegella up for an ambush and deliver Miranda into their hands. On top of that both Siegella and Constance prove far wilier than Lemmy anticipated.

Not to be confused with the like-named British thriller This Man is Dangerous (1941) starring James Mason, Cet homme est dangereux is the second film in the Lemmy Caution series based on the pulp novels British writer Peter Cheyney. American-born star Eddie Constantine returns as the wisecracking, hard-drinking, womanizing Interpol agent who captivated French post-war film fans. Unlike the actors inhabiting his closest equivalent James Bond, Constantine remains so inextricably intertwined with Lemmy to date no other actor has taken on his iconic role. While highbrow French film critics at the time disdained them as disposable trash the Lemmy Caution films charmed the public combining Gallic savoir-faire with the pace and vigour of Hollywood thrillers.

Much like another notable American export: jazz, these playful fast-paced thrillers were like a shot of brash, sexualized pop culture energy, disrupting the sterile status quo of post-war Europe. The series also captured the imagination of rebellious young cineastes like Jean-Luc Godard. He of course later brought Constantine back as Lemmy for his science fiction masterpiece Alphaville (1965). Early into Cet homme est dangereux Lemmy waxes philosophical how human beings suffer because they are alive. A throwaway line that nonetheless deftly encapsulates the romantic/fatalistic spirit of the then-burgeoning French New Wave. One imagines the film's cheeky, borderline fourth wall-breaking humour ("Speak French", Lemmy cautions Miranda. “They don't get subtitles here”) also appealed to the postmodern prankster sensibilities of filmmakers like Godard.

The creative force behind this particular Lemmy Caution adventure is Jean Sacha. More active as an editor and occasional screenwriter, Sacha had only a handful of directing credits. Among them a lesser known remake of Fantomas (1947), the Franco-Spanish crime thriller One Bullet Is Enough (1954) and O.S.S. 117 Is Not Dead (1957), an entry in the long-running Eurospy film series later parodied by comic actor Jean Dujardin. Here Sacha assembles a sporadically charming thriller. Stylishly shot in velvety black and white but with a loose grasp of a messy, overly convoluted plot. After an arresting intro unfolding events unwisely leave viewer and hero alike befuddled as to what exactly is going on. Sacha compensates for a meandering story-line with some suspenseful set-piece shootouts and fist-fights that seem particularly vicious for their time. Nevertheless we are left emotionally detached from the action. Undoubtedly the charm of this film lies in the incidental moments. Specifically playful banter between the charming but ruthless Lemmy Caution and a selection of vivid, likably characterized women. Nonetheless the characters come across more like actors having great fun playing at noir than desperate people caught in a dangerous situation. The film remains likable yet perhaps ultimately a little too pleased with itself.

Among an exemplary, effortlessly chic cast: Claude Borelli beguiles as the flighty teen heiress. Sadly the young actress passed away tragically young in an accident. Singer Colette Deréal also impresses as the alternately seductive and sinister Constance who shares a memorable climactic cat-fight with Borelli. Deréal had a relatively minor acting career and remains best known for representing Monaco at the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest. Lastly Jacqueline Pierreux, mother of future New Wave star Jean-Pierre Leaud, later enjoyed success as a producer. Euro-horror fans cherish her tour de force performance in the 'Drop of Water' segment of Mario Bava's chiller anthology Black Sabbath (1964). Of course central to the film's enduring popularity among French viewers is Eddie Constantine. He is as ruggedly charismatic as always even if the film over-relies on his hard-boiled narration to hold things together. Also it is a little nonsensical that the American hero's internal monologue is in French.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1450 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: