Fifth about The Seventh

The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Le Crime de Monsieur Lange)

The Crime of Monsieur Lange: the character at the center of Jean Renoir’s dramatic comedy is truly odious, doubly so because he is such a charming rascal; he embraces his villainy with great gusto, and it’s hard to believe that anyone else in the film would offer him the time of the day, let alone anything else. Still, the rest of this large ensemble of characters are good-natured people, easy to root for, as easy as it is to hate the villain; that’s a powerful combination. The film is also very open and non-judgemental in relation to sex and sexual politics, somethingalways refreshing. Florelle and René Lefèvre give fine performances as the romantic couple, but the film belongs to the oily, snaky creation of Jules Berry as the womanizer, untrustworthy publisher. The camera work of cinematographer Jean Bachelet is very dynamic, elegant, innovative, making full use of the space.

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