Tuesday, August 2
Starring Jean Gabin
(1935, Julien Duvivier) Gabin, on the run after a murder, finds that even the Foreign Legion looks good, finding love with native girl Annabella, but he just can’t shake that pesky Robert le Vigan. Gabin’s first international smash hit. In French, with English subtitles. DCP imported from France especially for this series. Approx. 96 mins.
“The camera swings down from the night sky about the Paris roofs to a narrow ill-lit street where a drunken girl is dancing with her lover. A man slips out of a doorway and she clutches him. Only after he has pushed her aside and disappeared into the arena of dance-halls and one-night hotels does she see the blood he has left smeared across her blouse. This is the effective opening of La Bandéra, a French film of the Spanish Foreign Legion into whose anonymous ranks the murderer escapes after he has been robbed of all his money in a shabby Spanish porter…. La Bandéra on the stage would be only one more melodrama of African heat and brutality… But the camera, because it can note with more exactitude and vividness than the prose of most living playwrights the atmosphere of mean streets and cheap lodging, gives the story background and authenticity. We recognize the truth of the general scene and are more prepared to accept the truth of the individual drama. Duvivier has [the] practically unique power… of looking generously at beautiful scenery without bursting into sobs.”
– Graham Greene (1935)