15 January 2021 | ulicknormanowen
No rebel and no cause.
At the time,the posters reportedly claimed :"the film every woman will long to see ".Well,it's pure wishful thinking : more than 70 years after its release , it's still what it was : an old-fashioned ponderous melodrama.
It was Marcel Lherbier's late career and he was still producing good movies ("l'affaire du collier de la reine"; " la nuit fantastique") , but time had taken its toll and many of those final works were mediocre .
"La révoltée " is a misnomer ; the heroine is not,by no means, a rebel:the heroine reacts to events ,she never initiates them .The first scene promised a good melodrama : in a church, a distraught woman confesses to a priest that she killed a man ; then begins an interminable series of flashbacks ,flouting chronology ;then return to the present , and presto,another flashback !enough is enough ! The movie fills its quota of suicide , fickle husbands , dying child, German Occupation, and even a novelist who uses the adventures of the unfortunate heroine as a template for his novel -who's released in the opening sequence ,the connection escapes me,I fear.
Victor Francen was par excellence Lherbier's actor .Here he is cast as a devoted GP ,with never a thought for himself ,and one wonders why this man would spend his whole life taking care of a woman who never shows any love or even affection; his partner ,Josette Day (Cocteau's 'la belle et la bête ")seems as flabbergasted as her character : she never knows why she's doing this or that ,and her attitude ,most of the time ,does not make much sense.
One can save two sequences that show that Lherbier was once a great director:
In the nightclub , the heroine watches her husband dance with a latin woman, the music played by the orchestra becomes deafening and unbearable to her ears .
The Liberation of Paris: the heroine's face is beaming ,but her eyes meet the doctor's look and she understands that death has struck as the bells of the churches ring louder and louder.