Before Brigitte Bardot there was Martine Carol and before her was Viviane Romance. Her sex appeal was obviously less overt than her two successors in keeping with her era but the camera absolutely adored her and she was to excel as a femme fatale in 'Belle Equipe' and 'Panique'.
In this film of Roger Richebe she is in the full bloom of her beauty and appearing opposite her husband at the time, Georges Flamant.
It is difficult to categorise this film as it is not really Noir and as a Murder Mystery it does not exactly have you on the edge of your seat but it is nonetheless wonderfully watchable. The tempo is 'lento' throughout which allows the characters to 'breathe' and they are extremely well-drawn.
Flamant and Romance are just two of a number of witnesses/suspects in a murder case and joining them are two of the best and best-loved character actors in the business, Marcel Dalio and Pierre Larquey. Both enjoyed long careers, Larquey continuing to work throughout the Occupation and Israeli-born Dalio leaving France so as to escape what would surely have been a grisly fate. The fifth suspect is played by Marcel Peres, very much a 'type' who had a phenomenal number of credits on both large and small screen.
The literate script is based upon the novel by Pierre MacOrlan and Richebe's direction is as polished as ever. The ending certainly packs an unexpected punch!
By not coming to this piece with too many expectations I found myself very pleasantly surprised and would not hesitate to recommend it.