9 August 2019 | dbdumonteil
Love and theft
Based on a play ,this melodrama has not worn well ;characters are cardboard ,directing is static ,and even the seasoned actors (Charles Vanel,Pierre Larquey,Gaby Morlay )are not able to enliven the trite screenplay .Only Gilbert Gil ,then at the beginning of his career,plays his game well,cast as the bad sort of the school , a nasty guy who would redeem himself for the finale.
The action takes place in a high school ,a rather gloomy place where the students fight when the bread is delivered :and however,at the time, the boys ,let alone the girls, stood little chance of carrying on their studies in a high school ;all the parents seem wealthy persons anyway.
All is predictable: during Easter holidays ,some students choose to stay in the place :one of them's attitude ,a virtuous brilliant A-student ,puzzles his teachers and the principal ;he actually does not stay to prepare the grande ecole for training of teachers -everybody is sure he will pass the exam-,but for sentimental reasons: he is desperately in love with the principal's wife who,
often daydreaming in front of her cage of birds , does not want to cheat on her husband ,and mainly,does not want to ruin the boy's good prospects.A night he calls on her , a theft is committed and he is a suspect ;he stands accused but everybody sides with him, no one wants to believe he's capable of such an infamy.
My Hitchcocometer points sullenly towards zero as far as the suspense is concerned ; only the above- mentioned Gilbert Gil can sustain some interest as the villain ,and considering the limitations he is working under,it's a little feat.Pierre larquey also provides the movie with some passable scenes when he reprimands the bad lot for frequenting seedy places where he often goes too.
The title means "the seniors" ,for in this school ,there are eleven-year old kids as well as young men about to graduate.