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Manon

France 1949
produced by
Paul-Edmond Decharme for Alcina
directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
starring Serge Reggiani, Michel Auclair, Cécile Aubry, Andrex, Raymond Souplex, André Valmy, Henri Vilbert, Héléna Manson, Dora Doll, Simone Valère, Gabrielle Fontan, Wanda Ottoni, Rosy Varte, Edmond Ardisson, Michel Bouquet, Robert Dalban, Jean Hébey, Jean Témerson, Gabrielle Dorziat
screenplay by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jean Ferry, based on the novel by Abbé Prévost, music by Paul Misraki

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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France, 1945: The Americans are presently working on freeing the country, and in their wake, French militia clear the cities of sharpshooters, but also collaborators and sympathizers with the Germans. And one such "sympathizer" might be lovely Manon (Cécile Aubry), just because her mother owned a café that was frequented by the Germans, mostly, and she, a lovely young girl, was friendly with them. The people of her village want to publicly disgrace her for this, but the militia takes her into custody - where she manages to charm her guard Robert (Michel Auclair), and together they steal an Army jeep and make their way to freshly liberated Paris, where they get to live with her brother Léon (Serge Reggiani). Now Paris these days was a place where there was plenty of money to be made - in contraband. And Léon is good friends with M. Paul (Raymond Souplex), who's big in contraband. And M. Paul takes an instant liking to Manon, so he creates a job for Robert that gets him out of the country, just so he has some "alone time" with her. Once Robert finds out, he breaks off all contact with M. Paul and moves to the province with Manon, where he has an honest job and she works as a model. But with time she brings home more and more money and expensive things, and eventually he becomes suspicious - and learns she has long quit her job as a model and works in a high class brothel as prostitute. He is shocked, but just as he's about to strangle her, he realizes how much in love he still is despite everything - so the two of them move on, and this time decide to a life in trading contraband together so Manon wouldn't be tempted by other opportunities. Soon they find an American Army afficer who's charmed by Manon and thus ok with, well, let a bit of penicilin fall off the truck with every shipment for Robert to sell to local hospitals and the like for a healthy profit. But then the officer is ordered back to the USA and he wants Manon to come with him as his bride. She agrees, much to Robert's terror - and that's where Manon's brother Léon comes in again, as he's to stall Robert until Manon is safely on her trip to the USA. But in a fit of rage, Robert kills Léon, then phones Manon about it to bid her farewell - but she only now realizes how much he loves her and she loves him back that she ditches the officer to go to Marseilles with Robert where they stow away on a ship that smuggles Jews to Israel. But they're found out, and now at the mercy of  the captain (Henri Vilbert), who takes a sympathy to their story, but still has his duty - and after all, Robert is a murderer ...

 

Now the novel this movie is based on is set in the 18th century, but the film makes a good job out of transplanting the plot into (then) contemporary times with a very contemporary socio-political background, turning the story into a mixture of romance, crime movie and adventure - and the movie not only works because of its tight screenplay but also thanks to its wonderful direction where almost each shot is a quite impressive tableau, and a very strong cast.

Pretty much a must-see!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD