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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Les Plus Belles Escroqueries Du Monde (1964)

Four stories by four directors, each set in a different international location. In Tokyo: Directed by Hiromichi Horikawa. A bar girl (Mie Hama, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) sets her sight on an elderly miser (Ken Mitsuda) who's so afraid to lose his fortune, he carries it around in a brief case. In Naples: Directed by Ugo Gregoretti. A young man (Guido Giuseppone) is infatuated with a prostitute (Gabriella Giorgelli) but she only has eyes for the pimp (Giuseppe Mannajuolo) who treats her badly. In Paris: Directed by Claude Chabrol. A group of swindlers (Jean Pierre Cassel, Catherine Deneuve, Sacha Briquet) sell the Eiffel Tower to an unsuspecting dupe (Francis Blanche). In Marrakesh: Directed by Jean Luc Godard. A TV reporter (Jean Seberg) interviews a counterfeiter (Charles Denner) who makes money and gives it to the poor. In the original theatrical release, there was a 5th segment set in the Netherlands directed by Roman Polanski but on the transfer I saw, the segment was removed at Polanski's request with no explanation. Curiously, the Godard sequence was deleted from the theatrical release but it has been re-instated in the transfer I saw. The first three are entertainments with some amusement value but the Godard segment, not surprisingly, has an enigmatic political bent that doesn't fit in with the first three so one can see why it was removed initially. Each segment is roughly 25 minutes in length so they don't have a chance to wear out their welcome. The Japanese sequence was my favorite and my least favorite was the Paris sequence. It was a one joke premise that wasn't that funny to begin with.  

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