As a winter of discontent ends in Paris, militaristic Jean-Louis Trintignant (as Clement Lesser) plans to assassinate a unionist politician. When his clandestine "hunting club" fails to achieve success, Mr. Trintignant must hide from authorities. He and alluring wife Romy Schneider (as Anne) take refuge with Trintignant's childhood chum Henri Serre (as Paul). Trintignant leaves to square things with former cohort Pierre Asso (as Serge) while Ms. Schneider resumes her (stage) acting career. Absent her husband, Schneider falls into Mr. Serre's bed. Then, Trintignant returns and wants to get combative...
This was the first feature from director Alain Cavalier, here assisted by Louis Malle. The leading men are meant to represent two extreme sides of the political aisle - commonly called right-wing (tending toward fascism in the extreme) and left-wing (tending toward communism in the extreme). Unfortunately, the film does not relay much of the men's friendship; we do not care that they become rivals. Most interesting is the relationship between Trintignant and Schneider, which may border (at least) on sadomasochism. There is good black-and-white photography by Pierre Lhomme, especially the location scenes.
****** Le combat dans l'ile (8/17/62) Alain Cavalier ~ Romy Schneider, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Henri Serre, Pierre Asso
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