14 April 2008 | dbdumonteil
Tourneur Cessa de Tourner (Tourneur stopped directing)
And however,he had thirteen more years to live when he called it a day with "Impasse Des Deux -Anges " .It is a decent swansong,even though it cannot be ranked among the director's best works ,alongside " La Main Du DIable" "Justin de Marseille" or even his curious " Le Val d'Enfer".But most of the Tourneur 's American period is unknown in his native country,with a few exceptions ("Victory")
It was the first time Simone Signoret had played opposite Paul Meurisse ,and it was not the last time:"les Diaboliques " and Melville's "L'Armée Des Ombres" were to follow ,and those ,particularly the former ,are memorable stuff.
Signoret portrays a music hall artist who is about to marry an aristocrat (Marcel Herrand).In order to enter this chic world completely new to her,she takes French lessons (she learns the subjunctive imperfect ,a tense reserved for snub people).She is presented with a valuable necklace ;her husband tells him so: it was a present from Louis the Fourteeth -no less- to a noble lady of his court. Enter some kind of aging Arsene Lupin (Meurisse) who was once the lady's lover and came to her place to lift her jewel.They leave the aristocrat's house and remember the good old days.Many flashbacks take us back to "Impasse Des Deux-Anges " where they used to love each other passionately.Everything has changed.They make strange encounters :a young girl (Danielle Delorme) who "is what I was a long time ago" says Signoret;then a young man who steals Meurisse's weapon and really turns "gun crazy".
It's difficult to pigeonhole "Impasse des Deux Anges" :a melodrama,a thriller, a comedy? After the viewing ,nostalgia for bygone days lingers .Some kind of Cinderella in reverse ,a Cinderella feeling nostalgic for her years of poverty.