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Plato Grishin
Plato Grishin

Devil's Daughter (1946)


"La Fille Du Diable" is the follow-up to "Je Suis Avec Toi" and it features the same lead ,Pierre Fresnay.Whereas the former is a pleasant forgettable little comedy,the latter is one of the greatest French films Noirs of the forties.It is as good as Decoin's "Non Coupable" and "La Verite Sur Bebe Donge" and its screenplay almost surpasses both of them.Two disturbing scenes open the movie:first a shoot-out in the city : a gangster,Saget, is surrounded on all sides ;he finally escapes and it's a mad drive in a drunken man's car through a nightmarish country.Then the movie takes a divergent way and becomes a psychological thriller.The gangster who's got a lot of dough takes refuge in his hometown.Enter a nice doctor (Fernand Ledoux)and a strange girl "the devil's daughter" (check the title),Isabelle.And then begins a feud which will involve the three of them.The three actors are prodigious.The nice doctor seems to know too many things about Saget and begins to blackmail him.But it's not the kind of blackmail you see in your average thriller.He asks for a radiotherapy center cause "too many brats suffer from TB" ,he asks for good things ,which help the whole town.Ledoux's acting is so subtle we do not know if he's a saint or if he plays cat and mouse with his "victim".Unlike Clouzot's or Duvivier's worlds,his closest relatives as far as film noir is concerned, Decoin's is not completely black.And there's Isabelle.This role is unique.No matter how much I search my memory,I cannot find a female part which can be compared to her.Once again it may recall some Duvivier's heroines ("Panique" or "Voici Le temps Des Assassins") but those women had motives ,love ,money.Isabelle is evil,period.Her father hung himself and she became the hanged man's daughter.The whole town is against her,she's outlawed from society.Her reason to live is not to get happiness back but to make sure that others won't be happy.She will never forgive the young Chatelaine who is respected by the whole community. With her Madonna face and her hair she puts in braids,she epitomizes the tragedy of the human condition.If boys fall in love with her,she uses them to harm her fellow creatures.Andrée Clément gives a spooky terrifying performance and why she did not become a famous actress after such a feat remains a mystery to me.A shady relationship develops between the devil's daughter and Saget.She feels they have a lot in common and she too seems to know that this mysterious man is not what he seems .She would like him to be her partner in crime .She feels that they have a lot in common.The final twist is stunning,as strong as Night Shyamalan 's "Unbreakable" which it recalls a little.And Decoin 's final is uncompromising: lose all your illusions,some people have not their place in the providential world where the chosen ones go to church on Sunday morning and sing canticles to praise the Lord.A film that cannot be praised too highly.If by chance you can find it,do not think twice:it's the French black and white film noir at its best.NB People interested in Andrée Clément's short career could have a look on the FRench site "Etoiles Filantes" ,a site devoted to the French actresses who were never big stars but sometimes were as impressive as the stars (and starlets).Clement's acting attracted Louis Jouvet's attention and he was the best teacher of his era (as well as one of the best actors)




Devil's Daughter (1946)


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Mildred is finally forced to take work as a waitress, although she refuses to breathe a word about it to her children. Ray, the cheerful younger daughter, probably wouldn't care one way or another, but Veda would be horrified and scornful. Mildred herself is horrified, and that is one of the things that makes her so hard to like. The other is her grim refusal, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, to see that she is nursing a viper in her bosom. And when Ray dies of a fever, the rattlesnake is the only one left in the nest.


And yet Mildred Pierce has a visceral, snake-farm fascination. Any mother who's ever had daughter troubles (I'd guess that would be most who have daughters) will be immediately engaged. And whatever other problems the mini may have, Haynes clearly conveys Cain's basic message: when you allow a kid to grow up unfettered by conscience or scruples, the result is apt to be unpleasant. In his introduction, Tom Wolfe calls Veda "a little bitch." Yet we finish able to offer Mildred at least conditional forgiveness. Veda is, after all, what she has, and Mildred fights for it, tooth and nail. And there's this bonus: Haynes has given us Cain's original shocker of a climax unvarnished and in lurid close-up.


Midnight Shadow(1939) 54 min. In a quiet, all-black Oklahoma community live the Wilsons, whose pretty daughter Margaret is courted by awkward Buster and suave stage mentalist Prince Alihabad. On one busy night, Mr. Wilson shows his valuables to Alihabad, who plans to elope with Margaret; a mysterious man hangs around while another burglarizes the house; and someone murders Mr. Wilson! Will the killer be caught by the police, or by bumbling correspondence-school detective Junior Lingley?


4 Rare comedy shorts produced by Al Christie. Spencer Williams (later Andy in "Amos 'n Andy" on TV) appears in each."Framing of the Shrew" - Downtrodden husband stars divorce proceedings. "Melancholy Dame" - A nightclub owner's wife, jealous of his attentions to his star singer, schemes to get her fired. "Music Hath Harms" - Roscoe claims to be champion horn player, but he can't play a bit. When he enters a contest a friend hides under the stage to make the music. "Oft in the Silly Night" - A chauffeur falls in love with the daughter of his employer.


Mrs. Holland was born in Suffolk, Virginia on January 26, 1946, and was the daughter of the late Robert Paul Hollowell, Sr. and Willie Mae Spivey Hollowell. Retired from the Sunbury Branch of First Citizens Bank, she was a member of Damascus Christian Church.


My final story begins and ends, however, with something as trivial as a box cutter. Mine had broken a few days earlier and, finding it a useful tool to keep in a kitchen drawer, I paid a visit to my local hardware shop to purchase a new one. Upon my return, a letter was waiting for me from an estate agent, a similar one delivered to every resident of Winterville Court, politely informing each of us that the flat below my own was being put up for sale. The previous occupant, Mr Richardson, had lived in Flat One for some thirty years but died shortly before Christmas, leaving the dwelling empty. His daughter, a speech therapist, resided in New York and, to the best of my knowledge, had no plans to return to London, so I had made my peace with the fact that it would not be long before I was forced to interact with a stranger in the lobby, perhaps even having to feign an interest in his or her life or be required to divulge small details about my own.


Madame Rose (Françoise Rosay) runs a seedy hotel in a suburb of Paris. She makes her long-suffering daughter Simone (Andrée Clément) work as a chambermaid for nothing more than room and board. Strong-minded but without the least moral scruple, she once killed her husband whose honesty was a hindrance to her business. Under a suspended sentence, she now indulges in smuggling.


Mildred has always wanted to write - which is not to say she has always wanted to be a professional writer. One the contrary, for years She wrote only for her own pleasure, and it wasn't until her husband suggested that She ought to send one of her stories to a publisher that they put several publishers names into a hat and pulled one out. The trouble was, She never used to finish any of the stories, and Caroline, her first published book as Anne Mather, was the first book she'd actually completed. She was newly married then, and her daughter was just a baby, and it was quite a job juggling her household chores and scribbling away in exercise books every chance She got. Not very professional, as you can see, but that's the way it was. The rest as they say in history. And now, more than 160 books later, She's literally - excuse the pun - staggered by what happened. She also published books as Caroline Fleming or Cardine Fleming. Her Anne Mather's novel, Leopard in the Snow, was developed into a 1978 movie. 041b061a72


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