19 April 2015 | gerrythree
"Body Of My Enemy" Is A Train Wreck
Plenty of great movie talent worked on "Body Of My Enemy." For all their efforts, this movie is the worst of the movies that paired Jean-Paul Belmondo with director Henri Verneuil. The plot of this movie makes no sense, dealing with an interloper, Belmondo playing a social climber, Francois Leclerq, who gets involved with the super rich and influential family that controls the textile industry in his town. The movie starts off with Belmondo's character getting off a train at the Cournai station, just out of prison, where he served 7 years for a double murder he did not commit.
This opening scene was masterfully photographed by Jean Penzer, as is the entire movie. Marie-France Piser, who plays the rich man's daughter, never looked better, her beauty luminous thanks to DP Penzer. "Body Of My Enemy" was the fourth and last movie in a row that Penzer photographed for Belmondo's Cerito Films. The next movie Penzer worked on as DP was "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs,' directed by Bertrand Blier, the son of Bernard Blier - who played the head of the rich Liégard family in "Body Of My Enemy." The production values of this Belmondo star vehicle, the fine cast and the effort made in finding exterior locations just right for the story cannot compensate for a movie that is overloaded with flashbacks that vitiate the story. "Disjointed" is one word that you can use to describe this movie. As I watched this movie, I started to think that Leclerq, Belmondo's character, is a really unappealing sort, an egocentric guy quick to join the rich crowd.
I just saw this movie on a StudioCanal DVD (in French only), using the English .srt subtitles someone finally posted for this movie on the Internet. The DVD played fine but the movie not so good, a pretentious look at how rich people live. Still, that Marie-France Pisier. At about the 50 minute point, in a bathrobe, she gives a quick salute to Belmondo before the scene cuts. What a looker, what a personality!