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  • A film made up of sketches which Gerard Philipe,cast as a carnival barker at a fair , introduces.It is not the first one about the famous sins (two were made before and a new/old wave version would appear in the early sixties)This is an uneven compilation .

    SEGMENT ONE:avarice and anger (de Philippo) or "the rent is always due".A ruthless landlord demands his rents.A poor music teacher is completely broke and he asks for a miracle:he finds a wallet ,but it's the landlord's one.

    An entertaining story with enough twists to sustain the interest throughout.

    SEGMENT TWO :sloth (Dreville) or "slow down world" .God sends Saint Peter on earth to slow it down for he thinks that people live too fast.

    In spite of Noel-Noel 's presence,this is a boring sketch.God's voice from a woofer is not really funny.

    SEGMENT THREE :lust (Allégret)or " the forbidden fruit " .A thirteen-year -old girl is in love with her mother's lover.She says that she's pregnant by him .

    It begins well in a country fair where the girl tells the priest (a very young Maurice Ronet) she's expecting a child .But when the truth is revealed ,there's nothing exciting and the last minutes are a waste of film.

    SEGMENT FOUR:"gluttony"(Carlo-Rim) or "cheese or cheesecake?" Henri tells his guests about one of his granddaddy's adventures.He was a doctor and one night he had to stop on a farm for the night.For dinner ,he had a delicious fromage frais.The farmer ,a grumpy man ,allows him to share the marriage bed .As the hubby begins to snore,the lady asks the stranger :"do you feel like?do you?"

    Generally dismissed as vulgar by the critics ,Carlo-Rim's contribution to this bill of fare is nevertheless the funniest (not the best,it's Autant-Lara who wins hands down).Even if we guess the ending,it's a short bawdy sketch which Pier Paolo Pasolini would have liked.

    SEGMENT FIVE :"Envy"(Rossellini) or "Every cat has her day" .From writer Colette.A man loves his cat Sarah more than he loves his wife .She (the woman) gets jealous and her hate for the animal knows no bounds.

    Another sketch which the critics did not like.It's an interesting one,though,thanks to Andrée Debar's androgynous look.But the cat steals the show anyway. A distant relative of the sketch "Bobo" in "terror tract" !

    SEGMENT SIX "Pride" (Autant-Lara) or "pride has no price" Two aristocrats short of the readies ,mother and daughter,live in a seedy house.There will be a ball in the local aristocracy: will the girl be invited ?

    Easily the best moment .Last but not least.Françoise Rosay ,as a grumpy penniless dowager and Michele Morgan as her gorgeous frail daughter shine.The score is very important;it is based on an old French folk song "Le Pont de Nantes " aka " Le Pont du Nord" :it tells the story of a girl who wants to go to dance on a bridge but her mother refuses .Autant-Lara shows himself unrelenting when he depicts the selfishness,the snobbery and the cruelty of the wealthy,recalling the best moments of "Douce" (1943)

    SEGMENT SEVEN :"the eighth sin"(Lacombe) or " There's less to the picture than meets the eye" Shady people meet in a dark place.One thinks of very bad things.But...

    An unexpected final twist .Georges Lacombe ,who has got a good sense of mystery ("Le Denier des Six"(1939) was a good thriller ), does a good little job.
  • In the sixth century Pope Gregory gave a name to our daily trangressions thereby increasing our sense of guilt without which Religion cannot function.

    The Seven Deadly Sins represent a perfect vehicle for what is commonly referred to as the 'Portmanteau Film' which is designed to entice audiences with the prospect of seeing a series of mini-films for the price of one. Films of this type are generally better when there is one director throughout as the diversity of directorial styles can be frustrating.

    This one is a mixed bag in which five French segments succeed in making Sin rather 'chic' whilst the two Italian neo-realist episodes simply make it seem unpleasant.

    'Envy' is based upon a story by Colette and is directed by puppet-master Roberto Rossellini. True to form he has cast as a painter a real painter named Orfeo Tamburi whose acting is atrocious. In the segment depicting 'Anger' the near maniacal performance by Isa Miranda is mesmerising. The 'Sloth' episode proves once again that Comedy seldom travels well and the 'Lust' segment is alas a damp squib. In episode 5 Henri Vidal prefers cream cheese to the delicious Claudine Dupuis but his lean, muscular physique makes him unconvincing as a glutton. By far the best episode is 'Pride' directed by Claude-Autant Lara whose trademark bitterness is to the fore and featuring great performances from Michele Morgan, Francoise Rosay and Jean Debucourt.

    By combining two sins in the Edouardo de Filippo segment the makers have cleverly introduced a fascinating episode, well directed by Georges Lacombe, devoted to an 'unknown' eighth sin which is basically that of our own imagining.

    As a carnival barker we have the marvellous Gérard Philippe who serves as a link man. One wonders who directed his scenes.

    By all accounts this film was tremendously popular when first released but has not fared well with the passage of time whereas Sin is of course for all the ages!
  • This film should not be confused with another made with the same title, 10 years later with only French directors including Godard, Chabrol, et al. The 1952 film is also an anthology film with several French directors plus the great Italian director Roberto Rossellini contributing to one of the 7 (or 8) sins discussed in the film--Envy.

    Rossellini's film segment is based on the work of a French writer Colette titled "Cat" and this segment is far superior to the other "sin" segments made by the French directors. Here a woman envies a cat who gets more attention from her husband than she gets from him!

    The second best segment in the 1952 film is on "Pride" directed by Claude Autant-Lara with the beautiful Michelle Morgan as the young lady, once rich, living in poverty. The script is by the director and has a stunning end.

    The shortest segment is on "Gluttony," directed by a little known French director Carlo Rim, which has and amusing yet surprising end.

    The segment on "Avarice and Anger" opens the film and makes the viewer attentive enough to anticipate and watch the rest of the film. This segment is an above average morality play directed by Eduardo de Filippo.

    The segments on "Lust" (directed by Yves Allegret) and "The Eighth Sin" (directed by Georges Lacombe) are at best average. But the wooden spoon goes to the segment on "Sloth" (directed by Jean Dreville), which is incredibly poor in quality.