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Friday, July 19, 2013

La Mariee Etait En Noir (aka The Bride Wore Black) (1968)

After a failed suicide attempt, a woman (Jeanne Moreau) embarks on a mission to track down five men for reasons we, the audience, discover in sections via flashback. Only after she pushes the first of the five men off a high rise balcony to his death, do we begin to understand this is a vendetta of revenge. It seems almost every director at one point in his career attempts a Hitchcockian film and this was Francois Truffaut's first attempt. Except for one or two sequences (such as a flashback with no dialogue, just Bernard Herrmann's underscore), it's not very Hitchcockian and some of it is very careless. Hitchcock, even at his best, could be careless too but the intensity of his technique overrode any other considerations and that very technique is what Truffaut lacks. But if you can possibly force Hitchcock from your mind, it's a decent if conventional murder mystery. One could debate whether Jeanne Moreau is a bit mature for the role I suppose but she's very good in the part. Apparently Truffaut himself wasn't happy with the final product but he's definitely made worse movies (THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN for one). Based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich, writing under the pseudonym William Irish. With Jean Claude Brialy, Charles Denner, Michel Bouquet, Michael Lonsdale, Daniel Boulanger, Claude Rich and Alexandra Stewart.

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