Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


The great years for writer/director René Clair came & went with the late silent/early Talkie period. After that, his charm, wit & flights of surrealistic fancy played out on such a smooth surface, little could grow on them; the films retain pleasure, but no resonance. This variation on the Faust legend, his second pic upon returning to France after the war, is a big production, with grand designs via Léon Barsacq, but the ideas feel secondhand, post-war allegory on greed & ‘the bomb,’ that plays with little consequence. Michel Simon, a ham actor whose occasional genius goes missing here*, starts out as Faust, the aged scientist/philosopher, but he soon swaps bodies with Gérard Philipe's boyish Devil which allows Simon to overact wildly as Mephistopheles for most of the film. It all feels closer to Offenbach’s TALES OF HOFFMAN (out via Powell/Pressburger in ‘51) than to Goethe. Nothing inherently wrong there, but it’s one of those films where the players seem to be having a jollier time than the intended audience. (Sometimes called BEAUTY AND THE DEVIL.)

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: *Simon’s genius returned on his next pic, the sublime LA POISON/’51, Sacha Guitry’s fatal philosophical farce, yet to show on Stateside DVD.

No comments: