When it comes to noir, we Anglos may have appropriated the word, but the thing was the result of the most delicate Franco-American reciprocity, well illustrated here. Preceding Visconti (Ossessione), Garnett and Rafelson, this is the first adaptation of James M Cain's 1934 novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, with its triangle of slobbish husband/bored wife/tough drifter. Apart from an accommodation with Michel Simon's star status, which required the husband to live longer, it's a faithful transposition of the novel's tone and content. But it's the style of the actors - Gravey's soulful eyes and mournful presence, Luchaire's other worldly beauty and air of resignation - which makes the difference, nudging the distinctively French world of 'poetic realism' and that of American pulp finally and irrevocably into alignment. (Luchaire's career stopped in 1940; she was the daughter of pro-Nazi writer Jean Luchaire, shot after the Liberation, and she herself was dead at 29.) BBa.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Charles Spaak, Henry Torrès, Jacques Brunius, Pierre Chenal, André Chenal|
Robert Le Vigan