Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Clouzot, Le Corbeau

Elaine and I are on a spree, watching films by Henri-Georges Clouzot, a director neither of us knew of a week or so ago. The 1943 film Le Courbeau is the story of a little French town whose residents begin receiving anonymous accusatory letters signed by The Raven. Who can trust whom: that is the question. Above, three residents, Denise Saillens (Ginette Leclerc), Rémy Germain (Pierre Fresnay), and Laura Vorzet (Micheline Francey), eye a fourth with suspicion.

Made during the occupation, for the German-controlled Continental-Films, Le Corbeau was criticized by the Vichy regime, the Resistance, and the Roman Catholic Church. After liberation, the film was banned in France, and Clouzot was banned from the French film industry. Both bans were lifted in 1947.

Le Courbeau is out of print at the Criterion Collection.

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