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Friday, August 21, 2015

La Sirene Du Mississippi (aka Mississippi Mermaid) (1969)

A wealthy tobacco plantation owner (Jean Paul Belmondo) residing on a small island in the Indian Ocean sends away for a mail order bride. But when she (Catherine Deneuve) arrives, she looks nothing like the photograph she has sent him. They marry but it isn't long before he discovers her true motives. Based on the Cornell Woolrich (writing under William Irish) novel WALTZ INTO DARKNESS, Francois Truffaut dedicates the film to Jean Renoir. But the film is more successfully Hitchcockian than his previous homage THE BRIDE WORE BLACK. In fact, VERTIGO comes to mind more than once. This was the European cut which is some 15 minutes longer than the version that was released in the U.S. What was cut adds nothing to the narrative but it fleshes out the characters more. Though it's hard to get beyond Deneuve's stunning beauty (gorgeously dressed by Yves St. Laurent), this is really one of her better performances that allows her to move beyond the glacial beauty. Not only a fine film noir but a darkly intricate romance. With Michel Bouquet, Nelly Borgeaud and Marcel Berbert. 

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