To the Victor (1948)

Approved   |    |  Drama

To the Victor (1948) Poster

After serving bravely in WWII, American Paul remains in France and becomes a black marketeer. He meets Christine, an attractive French girl whose husband is in jail for collaborating with ... See full summary »

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23 February 2018 | filmnoirfilms-1
| Obscure film noir shot on location in Paris
From the 1948 New York Times review:

A curious combination of philosophical elements has been arranged by the usually righteous Warner Brothers to shape a drama on the brotherhood of man in their picture. In the milieu of post-war Paris, they have caused an American black-marketer to fall in love with a girl who is an ex-collaborationist and to find moral regeneration with her.

As though this elevation of two rightfully despicable types into hero and heroine of the picture were not sufficiently distasteful in itself, there are other aspects of it which are likely to burn perceptive folks. The whole tone and character of the story are artificial and contrived, even though it presumes to deal with tensions and readjustments which are sharply real today. A terribly vital social concept is speciously laced and confused in a typically over-anguished romance between a collar-ad Hollywood star, Dennis Morgan, and a new Swedish actress, Viveca Lindfors, who deserves another chance.

Further aggravation is latent in the fact that black-marketing is treated as a sort of cheap but adventuresome game, played by burlesque foreign characters (Joseph Buloff) and naughty but nice Americans. The French attitude, represented by Victor Francen as a chief of police, is made to appear highly formal and off in the academic clouds. And the actual wreck-strewn vastness of Normandy's Omaha Beach is dragged in to be the location of the romantic avowal of hero and heroine.

The evident fact that some of the picture was filmed in Paris and Normandy and the rest in a Hollywood studio, with the distinctions plain and sharp, only adds to the general aura of artificiality about this film. This is typical of the confused nature of Richard Brooks' script and the strangely uneven character of the direction of Delmer Daves.

TO THE VICTOR, screen play by Richard Brooks; directed by Delmer Daves; produced by Jerry Wald for Warner Brothers Pictures. At the Strand.

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