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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

Clouzot’s QUAI DES ORFÈVRES

3:00   5:20   10:00

Through Thursday, April 19

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

New 4K restoration

(1947) Saucy go-getter Suzy Delair’s Jenny Lamour (“a voluptuous slut” – Pauline Kael) warms up an entertainment-starved Paris music hall audience with a swing of her ineffably euphemistic “tra-la-la,” part of the arsenal of charms she uses in her breakthrough to the big time. It also means suggestive publicity photos taken by sympathetic lesbian photographer Simone Renant, and a nocturnal meeting with a sleazy movie financier. But then congenitally jealous accompanist husband Bernard Blier issues an all-too-public death threat against the dirty old fogey. So when the financier winds up très mort, Blier becomes the prime suspect at Quai des Orfèvres, France’s Scotland Yard equivalent. Enter Inspector Louis Jouvet (“the greatest theater man of his generation and one of the half-dozen great screen actors” – David Shipman), who begins to take apart Blier’s meticulous alibi... Brilliantly transforming a classic whodunnit plot, Clouzot, “the French Hitchcock,” takes us from the wings and dressing rooms of the Parisian music hall to the drab, airless corridors and holding cells of the Quai’s Criminal Investigations Department, in a blend of social realism and psychological cruelty that became his trademark. One of the unrecognized masterpieces of the post-war French cinema, a Noir tour de force that won Clouzot the coveted Best Director prize at Venice. 4K DCP restoration. Approx. 106 min.

Presented with support from The George Fasel Memorial Fund for Classic French Cinema.

A RIALTO PICTURES RELEASE

A new 4K restoration of Clouzot’s early Noir masterpiece LE CORBEAU will run at Film Forum, April 20 - May 1 (our last repertory screenings before renovation).

Reviews

“A STRIKINGLY MODERN CLASSIC. One of [Clouzot’s] most elegant films.”
– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“An urbane police procedural, a cracking whodunnit, a Golddiggers sex comedy, and a stealth backstage musical… Clouzot and his restless camera track lives that seem already to have been unfolding before we’re invited in to regard them. Paris bustles in his backgrounds, a riotous can-can one moment and a shadowed dreamscape the next.” 
– Alan Scheustuhl, The Village Voice

“For Clouzot, suspense is merely an entrée into the vibrant, seductive world of postwar Paris, which he populates with richly imagined characters whose passions reveal depths that murder can only begin to express… At once a murder mystery, a comedy of manners, and an unforgettable character piece, Quai Des Orfèvres is the rare genre film that shrugs off the plot as a driving force and instead examines the latter part of ‘crimes of passion.’ In spite of Clouzot’s reputation as a bully and a cynic, the film evolves into a surprisingly humane and moving portrait of friendship and marriage, bursting with revelations about loyalty, trust, fidelity, and the things people do for love.” 
– Scott Tobias, A.V. Club

“A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.” 
– Michael Sragow

“Fabulously entertaining!” 
– Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

“ONE OF THE INDELIBLE IMAGES OF THE CLASSIC FRENCH CINEMA… Suzy Delair, as the music hall chanteuse Jenny Lamour, is posing for some revealing publicity pictures under the appreciative eye of a female photographer (Simone Renant). Stretched out on a chaise longue in the feathers-and-corset creation that is her stage costume, she squirms delightfully, exuding a pleasure in her own sexuality that no American film of the period would dare.” 
– Dave Kehr, The New York Times

“DEMANDS TO BE SEEN AGAIN AND AGAIN.”
– Luc Sante

“A KNOCK-OUT FILM NOIR.”
– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“A stunningly well-made entertainment... in this country it never got the audience it deserved.”
– Pauline Kael