In Leo Joannon's filmography,"L'Emigrante " set a pattern for his movies "of redemption" of the fifties,the likes of "Le Défroqué" ,"Le Désert De Pigalle" or "Le Secret De Sur Angèle ":life of sin, and before death strikes ,back on the straight and narrow and presto!the sinner becomes a saint.
For an actress such as Edwige Feuillère ,it's a far cry from Max Ophuls !She portrays a woman who loves jewels and is a gangster's lover.When he takes her precious necklace ,she gives him away to the police .
Fearing his vengeance,she sails away to South Africa ,where many emigrants intend to work in the mines there.
A lot of scenes are so extravagant they make the movie,like the works I mention above ,quite entertaining: -the heroine ,seducing men ,first a poor unlucky human wreck (Pierre Larquey,an excellent actor who overplays in all his scenes ) ,then a handsome lieutenant(Jean Chevrier) on the boat who is demoted when the captain discovers she shares his cabin.
-the dormitories the emigrants pack into,their good camaraderie,in direct contrast with the luxury dining-room where the heroine eats her lunch alone (yes ,it's "titanic" in miniature,without a wreck) -the wicked disabled Asiatic girl (isn't it a racist touch?),who informs the captain.
-the emigrants' rebellion,when they learn they are not the welcome in their new country and that they have to get back where they once belong.
-the heroine realizing that the handsome sailor sacrificed his career for her sake,and that she threw it all away ,that is to say the true love of a good man.
-her grand gesture ,her sacrifice,her salvation:"I'll will be with you all along your life till we meet again (in Heaven)"
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