RARA-AVIS: Garde Vu

From: davidcorbett622 (davidcorbettauthor@gmail.com)
Date: 19 Aug 2010

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    I was wondering if anyone on the list ever saw this film, from 1981, starring Michel Serrault, who also played the drag queen Albin in La Cage Aux Folles. He was great in this, as the man of means suspected of two child murders. Almost the entire film takes place in the police station and is just gripping as hell. Romy Schneider plays the wife and I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop there.

    It was remade for American audiences as Under Suspicion, with Gene Hackman in the suspect role, and Morgan Freeman as the cop. Like most remakes, it was underwhelming -- if for no other reason than it gave up on the central premise, the claustrophobic interrogation.

    It's right up there with The Clockmaker and Monsieur Hire and Read My Lips as one of my favorite post-Melville French crime films. (RML may be Belgian, actually. If so, oops.)

    Like another of my favorite crime films, this one the Brit bank caper Bellman & True, it's damn hard to find on DVD, unless one has a region-free player. Guess it's time for that investment.

    David Corbett www.davidcorbett.com



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