2 December 2018 | boblipton
Sous Les Toits De Montmartre
In the seedy side streets of Montmartre, where everyone has a racket, Françoise Rosay runs a seedy hotel. She also has side-lines in selling short-weighted perfume and smuggling tobacco and linen. She shot her husband fifteen years ago because he objected. Her daughter, Andrée Clément, drudges for her. Into this mix comes street peddlar Jacques Dacquemine, and Paul Meurisse who has a satchel of cash and, with his girl Simone Signoret, has swindled a rich dupe out of an expensive ring and.
It's an ensemble piece about the five of them as they sort out their short-term issues, each thinking himself too clever to fall into disaster. The performance are excellent, with Rosay superb under the direction of her husband, Jacques Feyder; age was catching up with him and the movie was finished by Marcel Blistène.
Feyder would be credited as "supervising director" on one more movie, then die in 1948 in Switzerland. He had been born in Belgium in 1885, acted on the stage by 1912 and began directing for Gaumont in 1916. After serving in the Belgian army during the First World War, he returned to writing and directing in 1921. He worked in Hollywood for a few years, and returned to France, always maintaining that he was a craftsman in a vast industry. His collaborators and admirers were legion, including Abel Gance, Julien Duvivier (for who he co-wrote POILE DE CAROTE (1925), Marcel Carne and Rene Clair.