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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pourquoi Viens Tu Si Tard? (1959)

A carefree Paris bachelor (Henri Vidal), who is also a news photographer, meets an attorney (Michele Morgan) in a small French village while waiting for his car to be repaired. He pursues her romantically but she is aloof. But her backstory will soon come out. Directed by Henri Decoin, this is a rather schizophrenic film. The first hour appears to be a romantic comedy between two opposites but after the first hour, there is a rape and the film turns into something different. What were Decoin and his three co-writers trying to do? The sudden shift in tone is not unprecedented (before or since) but the transition doesn't play smoothly here. It seems Decoin and company are trying to say something about alcoholism but it seems superficial and glossed over. Fortunately, Morgan and Vidal work well together (they were married in real life) and their star presence holds the film together, barely. Sadly, Vidal would die of a heart attack at the age of 40 just 7 months after the movie was released. With Claude Dauphin as Morgan's despicable client and ex-lover.

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