The Last Penny (1946)

  |  Drama



6.9/10
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6 February 2008 | dbdumonteil
8
| Cynical
Writer Reign shows one more time his insightful knowledge of the old French cinema when he hints at Ginette Leclerc and "Le Corbeau".In fact,both these works were very risqué,osé,taking cynicism to new limits.Noel Roquevert ,cast against type,portrays a wicked unscrupulous swindler,far from his usual good-natured characters .Matching him every step of the way is Leclerc's bitch-with-a-sentimental-side :take the scene where she tells Charpin (and later another dupe) that his father is terminally ill;she is so convincing we almost believe her.On the other hand,Stefani is one of the most frightening villains of the French cinema;he is all the more disturbing as his face is very familiar (and rather nice ) to the French audience.His organization is a Mafia in miniature:all his collaborators are actually his victims for "he knows so many bad things about them he could send them all to jail whenever he wants to(and he does actually ;he pretends to help the unfortunate Baron and he hands him over to justice,so to speak.

The ending is one of the most inventive of the cinema of the era and is still impressive today.It compares favorably to Kazan's "a face in the crowd" .All these radios which were part of the swindles backfire against the Master.

It belongs to the first era of Cayatte's career but it is really unique for it does not look like -with the eventual exception of his remarkable sketch in "Retour A la Vie"- the other ones,which are literary adaptations.

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Storyline

Genres

Drama

Details

Release Date:

23 January 1946

Language

French


Country of Origin

France

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