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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Les Orgueilleux (aka The Proud And The Beautiful) (1953)

Traveling on the coast of Mexico, a Frenchman (Andre Toffel) becomes seriously ill and dies. When the cause of death is found out to be meningitis, it isn't long before the small village is quarantined and the disease spreads. In the meantime, the man's widow (Michele Morgan) and the town's drunk (Gerard Philipe) find a slow growing attraction brewing. Based on Jean Paul Sartre's short story L'AMOUR REDEMPTEUR, the film is an oddity. The relationship between the two protagonists doesn't seem natural but rather contrived but as they are played by the elegant Michele Morgan and the handsome Gerard Philipe (has any drunk ever looked so attractive?), it's easy to overlook. What does work is the steamy and grimy atmosphere of a dusty hot Mexican coastal town which the director Yves Allegret encapsulates perfectly. It gives the film a reality that the narrative doesn't. Curiously although he didn't write the screenplay, Jean Paul Sartre was nominated for an Oscar for best writing of a motion picture story. With Carlos Lopez Moctezuma, Michele Cordoue and Roberto Manuel Mendoza. 

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