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.
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