26 May 2007 | kinsayder
Suzy is a Parisian cabaret hostess, a profession which at that time was only slightly higher up the social ladder than street girl. She's bored and disillusioned, and dreams of escape. And for one brief summer, she does. Like Cinderella in reverse, she's transported away from the bright lights into a gentle country house world of picnics, ping-pong, bicycle rides and beaches, where all the young men fall instantly in love with her, knowing nothing of her background and seeing only a sweet young innocent woman.
But if there's one thing we've learnt from the movies, it's that you can never escape your past. And just as the jaunty music of the opening credits is repeatedly beaten down by the fatalistic cabaret song "Sans lendemain" (No Tomorrow), so Suzy's summer idyll turns out to be short-lived.
The impossibility of escaping your destiny was, of course, a familiar theme of the Poetic Realism movement, to which this film belongs; but the date of production, the storm clouds rumbling over the Paris nightclub, and the fact that this film was shot in Berlin, give it a premonitory sensibility: a nation enjoying a dream of happiness, about to be given a nasty wake-up call.
As Suzy, Michèle Morgan (a brunette for this picture) is a delight: cynical and sad as the nightclub girl, charming and natural among the country house crowd. Charles Spaak's screenplay is melodramatic, but contains some sharp stabs at the hypocrisy of bourgeois society who, while despising girls like Suzy, have their uses for her just the same.