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Marie-Octobre (1959)

Fifteen years after WWII, a group of ex-resistance fighters are brought together by Marie-Octobre, so that the former members of the network can finally relive one fateful night and find out who betrayed their murdered leader, Castille.

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(original scenario), (original scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marie-Hélène Dumoulin - dite Marie-Octobre
...
Julien Simoneau - avocat d'Assises
...
Léon Blanchet - serrurier
...
Lucien Marinval - mandataire aux Halles
Jeanne Fusier-Gir ...
Victorine - la gouvernante
...
Père Yves Le Guen
Daniel Ivernel ...
Robert Thibaud - médecin-accoucheur
...
François Renaud-Picart - industriel
...
Antoine Rougier - imprimeur
...
Etienne Vandamme - contrôleur des contributions
...
Carlo Bernardi - patron de boîte de nuit
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Storyline

Fifteen years after WWII, a group of ex-resistance fighters are brought together by Marie-Octobre, so that the former members of the network can finally relive one fateful night and find out who betrayed their murdered leader, Castille.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eight men and a woman...one betrayed the man Marie-Octobre really loved

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1959 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Marie-October  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Connections

Remade as Marie-Octobre (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rare Duvivier failure
18 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

This film is that very rare thing, a French classic which is no good. French classics are usually terrific, and Julien Duvivier was one of France's most brilliant film directors. Here he tries every trick he knows to try to prevent the film from being tedious and boring, but he fails. But not for lack of effort, for if there is a camera angle which can help, a bit of movement which can inject some pretense of life into the inaction, he tries it. And the film is certainly not helped by the wooden performance of the lead actress, Danielle Darrieux. She seems to think that in order to be mysterious she needs to be a block of wood. But in this she mistakes corpse-like non-response for inscrutability. It is a terrible miscalculation, and clearly Duvivier was unable to control her, assuming, that is, that he was not so mesmerised by her beauty that he became unable to see clearly. Sometimes Darrieux adopts the expression of a vain woman looking into a mirror and passively admiring her looks, even when she is meant to be listening to one of the other actors. (Was she seeing her reflection in the other person's eyes?) But let's tackle what is really wrong with this film. It is a group of men and one woman alone in a room for 99 minutes. There is only the one set. And they talk, and they talk and they talk. Yawn, yawn, yawn. The film is set in 1959 (the year of the film's release). The group of people have all gathered together for the first time in 15 years, to honour the 15th anniversary of the death of the leader of their wartime Resistance organisation. After a luxurious dinner, the real business begins. Marie, called by her nom de guerre 'Marie-Octobre', wants to find out who murdered the leader, who, it transpires, had been her secret lover (and we are meant to believe that the others never knew this, so pull the other one). It happened when the Gestapo unexpectedly raided this very same room in August, 1944. She has learned in the interim that they came because of a traitor in their midst. She says one of them is a traitor. From that point on, the film becomes a kind of inferior Agatha Christie whodunit story with all the suspects grilled one by one, each revealing a secret and each in turn being found to be suspicious in some way or other. But this is not only very talky, it is way overdone. The cast is one of famous French actors of the period. Like the director, they try and try to make this sodden drama interesting, but they fail. They flap about like fish out of water. Flap flap, flap flap. But we don't get high drama, we just get fish out of water. This film was restored in 2016 in the admirable series of Pathe/Leydoux restorations of classic French cinema. It is now on Blu-ray with English subtitles. This is the first of that series of films which I have seen so far which has been a disappointment. It was worth doing, but that is a different thing from its being worth seeing.


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