Sartre wrote this rare survivor from those Left wing movies which loomed large in Europe after 1945. English liberal critics missed their class issues and saw only poetic fatalism. Stalinist hacks punished them for lacking positive heroes and singing tomorrows. Then English Marxists fell for Cahiers' twee formalism and whored after Hollywood culture. This forgotten genre cries out for rehabilitation. In this Heaven Can Wait fantasy, a de luxe lady (Presle) falls in love with the workers' militia leader just before they die. The afterworld (a Tati-like bureaucracy) gives them a second chance. The Communist street-fighting man is played by Pagliero, a Gabin-Montand hybrid who also directed bleak proletarian melodramas. The plot bitterly laments the lost opportunity for a 1945 French Revolution. Though it's sapped by Delannoy's stiffish direction, it's kitted out with 'cubist Heaven' decor and a L'Herbier-type aesthetic. Compulsive for connoisseurs.
Cast and crew