A lunatic with a craving for melons accidentally strays into a den of spies. The ensuing encounter is hilarious, prototype Pinter. But it has nothing to do with the rest of the movie (WWI, glamorous German spy, handsome French officer, background of minarets, sweaty cabarets, danger under every fez), and you can appreciate the dismay of '30s cinephiles, finding that the great socialist-humanist Pabst had turned to such 'meaningless' melodrama. In any case, Pabst - glum, unromantic - was clearly miscast as director, and the result is a hodgepodge, redeemed by odd flashes of brilliance, like the melon scene. Parlo, fine as the bedraggled bride in L'Atalante, lacks the requisite Dietrich blend of insolence and melancholy, while the movie's finale is so perfunctory as to suggest production problems.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Georges Neveux, Madame I Cube, Jacques Natanson|