Monday, February 04, 2019

Mélodie en sous-sol

1963, France, directed by Henri Verneuil

A weaker entry in the Gabin canon, though never without interest, not least as the first of three films uniting Gabin with Alain Delon, cast very much as the youthful rebel. The opening, set in under-construction Sarcelles, is quite fascinating, with Gabin's character returning from prison to a transformed landscape; the oppressive effect of the new construction is reminiscent of the tone of Gabin's slightly later, and much more challenging, Le Chat, set against a similar background. While the locations in the opening going make a real impact, the subsequent blend of location and studio shooting is very rough-edged, with the studio sets so obviously artificial.

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