HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Verite, La Indictment Of Youth
Year: 1960
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel, Sami Frey, Marie-José Nat, Jean-Loup Reynold, André Oumansky, Claude Berri, Jacques Perrin, Barbra Sommers, Lois Seigner, Raymond Meunier, René Blancard, Paul Bonifas, Hubert Lapparent, Louis Arbessier
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dominique Marceau (Brigitte Bardot) awakens in prison on the morning of her trial for murder, and frankly she would rather stay in her bed, uncomfortable as it is. But she must get dressed and head over to the courtroom, where the media are gathering like vultures over this sensational case where she has been accused of murder. The victim? Her boyfriend Gilbert (Sami Frey), a music student, who she had a passionate affair with - but does that mean it was a crime of passion she committed, hence she need not face the death penalty? Not that she is too bothered about dying, for the trauma is so much that Dominique doesn't believe she can go on much longer anyway...

Director Henri-Georges Clouzot was beginning to feel somewhat under siege at the point he made La Verite, or The Truth to translate, for the younger generation of the French New Wave had emerged and made their mark on the culture, and they were giving him very short shrift indeed. It wasn't solely him who they were sceptical about, it was his whole class of film director who they wanted to regard as passé, dismissing great swathes of their past culture in one fell swoop, no matter that there was plenty of value to be had there. Clouzot in particular was a highly skilled exponent of thrillers and grim drama, of which this was an example of the latter; Bardot was different, however.

She was brought to him with the potential for keeping him relevant, and so he determined to make a thespian out of her by having her play a character who went through the emotional wringer. She was certainly very pleased with the results, and would claim it among the very favourite of the films she made probably because she was given the opportunity to prove she was more than a pretty face, and so it was, whether thanks to Clouzot's direction or her inner reserves of talent, she was utterly convincing in the role of a wanton sex kitten suffering a reckoning and a realisation that she will not be able to be as free-spirited member of a youth movement in its most nascent form.

Of course, in light of the troubled way Bardot was feeling at the time, it could have been the film hit a little too close to home: she would attempt suicide around the point of its making, one of a number of serious drawbacks to strike the film that, while it was a big hit, represented essentially the end of Clouzot's career as a successful director, though he did limp on into the end of the nineteen-sixties. Many of those who championed him regarded La Verite as his endorsement of the younger generation who seemed to be vilifying him, since Dominique represented the way hypocritical authorities and conservatives would seek to destroy anyone who did not conform: really her crime is sleeping around, petulance in the face of a stifling home life and thorough disaffection, not so much the possibility that she has done in her lover.

Yet you could also see something of Clouzot rubbing his hands together and getting stuck into his own punishment of Dominique as a representative of all those darn kids who sought to label him a dinosaur in his own culture. The heroine is punished as much by the plotline as she was by any scathing treatment of the establishment, and so absolute was her humiliation the impression was the director was enjoying her suffering along with the way she showed up the double standards and intolerance of her tormentors. That Clouzot did not align himself with either side, if you cared to examine it, revealed his notoriously cynical approach to human nature, and with the film's overlong indulgence in attacking everyone he could think of aside from himself, the courtroom drama with extensive flashbacks structure could be so unrelenting as to be hard work if you wanted a simple whodunnit (or why-dunnit). La Verite was definitely not that: there was too much baggage here, too much anger, so much that it could barely bring itself to a proper conclusion.

[Criterion have released this on Blu-ray; those features in full:

New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Le scandale Clouzot, a sixty-minute documentary from 2017 on director Henri-Georges Clouzot
Interview from 1960 with Clouzot
Interview with actor Brigitte Bardot from the 1982 documentary Brigitte Bardot telle qu’elle
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 905 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Henri-Georges Clouzot  (1907 - 1977)

French director, responsible for some now classic thrillers. Originally a screenwriter, Clouzot's debut film was L'Assassin Habite Au 21 in 1942, which he followed by the controversial The Raven. Its harsh portrayal of small-town France was considered unpatriotic, and Clouzot was barred from working in France for five years.

Clouzot returned with the thriller Jenny Lamour and powerful Manon, before 1953's brilliant white-knuckle-ride The Wages of Fear became a big international success. Les Diaboliques, two years later, proved even more popular, and is still considered one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made. Inevitably Clouzot's subsequent work paled in comparison to these masterpieces, and ill-health dogged the director throughout the rest of his career. However, the likes of The Spies, The Truth (with Brigitte Bardot) and his final film La Prisonniere remain distinctive, often disturbing movies.

 
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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: