A religious fanatic finds his entire life and philosophy turned upside-down as he falls in love with a girl and kills her in a jealous rage. His search is for peace of mind and a desire to ... See full summary »
The cast and credits which appear at the beginning of the film are bizarre:Pierre Fresnay and Viviane Romance (it takes 50 minutes before the latter appears and her screen presence does not exceed 20 min)are at the top of the bill though they play supporting parts whereas Jean-Louis Barrault who carries the movie upon his shoulders and is present in 95% of the scenes is credited as "supporting".
"Le Puritain " was extremely different from all that was done at the time in France (and French cinema at the time reached peaks which it never surpassed afterward) .Telling the story of a religious fanatic who kills a good time gal because he thinks he has become God's instrument;someone who seems to hate the whole world ,who compares the heathen town to Sodom.It's one of Jean-Louis Barrault's most stunning performances (it might well be his very best ,if we do not count "Les Enfants Du Paradis" considered the best French movie of all time).His feverish look,his total mastery of his art ,from a whisper to a scream (And I mean "scream " for he cries like one possessed )are really awesome.The movie won the Prix Louis Delluc .
Based on a novel by Liam O' Flaherty,the story is supposed to take place in Ireland and it does in the movie although the atmosphere is not really Irish:the Concierge is typically French,and the music you can hear in the low dive is a tango to the tune of an accordion.And Pierre Fresnay is Commissaire Wens one year before he portrays this character.
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