Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
France / 1949 / 105 min
In French with English subtitles
Last screened on Tue, Dec 8
A classical tragic romance transposed to a World War II setting, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s loose adaptation of Prévost’s 1731 novel Manon Lescaut follows the travails of Manon (Cécile Aubry), a village girl accused of collaborating with the Nazis who is rescued from imminent execution by a former French Resistance fighter (Michel Auclair). The couple move to Paris, but their relationship turns stormy as they struggle to survive, resorting to profiteering, prostitution, and even murder. This masterful portrait of doomed young lovers caught in the disarray of postwar France marked quite a departure for the director most known for his acclaimed thrillers The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques, also features a standout Serge Reggiani as Manon’s no-good brother.