6 February 2012 | dbdumonteil
The Army and the Church
Claude Autant-Lara had intended a three and a half hours movie,but the producers were not prepared to accept it;two shows a day was not profitable for an expensive movie filmed in color ,which was rare in France of the fifties;the precedent user was probably right when he wrote about the producers'cuts .SO the movie was divided into two parts ; the audience had to come twice (and to pay twice of course!) Autant-Lara was an auteur:his then anti-clericalism ,anti-militarism and he held in contempt the bourgeoisie (no Chabrol did not invent it,nor the N.V),hypocrisy and so called sacred values ."Douce" and "LE Diable Au Corps,among others,had already been released .The story like,romantic ,human side of the novel is almost absent .Madame De Rénal (who could remind the viewers of the female role of "Le Diable Au Corps" and mainly Mathilde De La Môle are relegated to supporting parts:and however they are played by Danielle Darrieux and Italian beauty Antonella Lualdi (co-production outcome)!The director and his screenwriters,Bost and Aurenche focused on the social side :Julien,a carpenter's son,dreams of social promotion ,but he does not belong there ,in the world of privileged persons ,protected by the Red (the army) and the Black (religion) .He puts his head in the guillotine because he is an intruder under the very reactionary reign of Charles the Tenth,like the young student of "Diable" or the proletarian couple of "Douce"....and later the conscientious objector in "Tu Ne Tueras Point".