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Thursday, May 29, 2008

REUNION IN FRANCE (1942)

There’s not a single convincing moment in this mishmash CASABLANCA wannabe from M-G-M with John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Philip Dorn, Reginald Owen & John Carradine fumbling about as ersatz Bogie, Bergman, Henreid, Raines & Veidt, respectively. It would be funny if it wasn’t so appalling. And as sheer visual moviemaking, Warners product leaves M-G-M entirely in the shade. Helmer Jules Dassin would soon get camera savvy, but the films Joe Mankiewicz produced in his M-G-M days held little visual allure. (Midway thru the pic, lenser Robert Planck delivers a stunning close-up of Joan, but that’s just about the single redeeming feature here.)

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: For a far better shot at this sort of thing (leaving CASABLANCA aside), try PARIS UNDERGROUND with Constant Bennett.


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