Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#270: Casque d'Or

(Jacques Becker, 1952)

Although Becker had made a number of movies before Casque d'Or, this was the first film in his career to achieve international success (and apparently it didn't do that well in France), and is still considered his masterpiece among many. For me, I don't think Casque d'Or holds a candle to the genius of Le Trou, which is a spectacular, memorable epic. Part of the problem for me is Simone Signoret. A beautiful actress who would give a number of other truly great performances, even in Diabolique just a few years later, Signoret just doesn't have the kind of fire in her belly in this film that she should. I don't see the romance or the tragedy I need to with a story like this. I don't know, maybe it was a mood I was in, but the whole idea of this film as a romance falls flat to me.

The other thing that is funny is how much Casque d'Or seems just like other Becker movies, despite the fact that it was set in a different time period. The movie was apparently turned down by Max Ophuls and Henri-Georges Clouzot, and it would have been interesting to see how different this film would have been from these vastly different directors. In the hands of Becker, it's a good, not great one.

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