Movie Diary 10/24/2017

Les orgueilleux (The Proud and the Beautiful) (Yves Allégret, 1953). When I took French in high school the nun who taught the class used to go on about Gérard Philipe, his talent and beauty and his tragic early death. If I see him in a movie, all I can think about is the effect he had on this nun at Blanchet High in Seattle. But you can see why – in this one he overdoes the shambling tragic drunk bit but in some scenes he has an electric physicality that rivals Mifune’s. The story is about two French travelers who carry meningitis into a small Mexican town; Michèle Morgan is the wife, Philipe a local doctor (French emigré) who’s now a filthy drunken bum, Carlos López Moctezuma the Mexican doctor, Victor Mendoza a wealthy saloonkeeper. The script apparently had its roots in a screenplay by Jean-Paul Sartre. It’s a very sturdily-made, essentially sentimental film, although you can understand why it had certain tendencies that Truffaut and the coming New Wave would want to tear apart.

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