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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


A one-of-a-kind sumptuous treat, this lush, swoon-worthy period romantic drama from writer Jacques Prévert & director Marcel Carné, set in the 1830s, was improbably made during the French WWII Occupation. A feast in every department: acting, characters, sets & costumes, plot (dovetailed symmetry like a great 19th century novel), sentiment, violence, heartbreak, guilt-shaming kids . . . the works. All this you know. What’s needs mentioning is that the 2011 Pathé restoration on Criterion (replacing their earlier set) adds crucial resolution/definition to a film whose soft original texture made even decent prints look ‘dupey.’ And improvement to the soundtrack proves even more substantial. Of course, the grand story is so involving (all 3 hours & 10 minutes of it) that a battered VHS with pixel drop-out couldn’t stop you from squinting your way thru. But how nice to have it looking better than it has in decades; and sounding better than it ever has.

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: Note our poster. Yes, a scene from the film, but taken as if from the outside. The extra set-up would have wrecked a follow-up gag that’s pure composition.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Carné gets little love from auteurists & academics. And it’s true he’s only at his best collaborating with Prévert. But, any way you slice it, this is some kind of gorgeous/stylish moviemaking. No doubt, having Léon Barsacq and Alexandre Trauner on Production Design could make anyone look good, but check out a couple of gasp-worthy cinematic moments when Jean-Louis Barrault unexpectedly comes upon Arletty, his great lost love, in Part Two. First, with a simple reverse-angle; then, handled via purely theatrical mise-en-scène as a curtain is thrown open to reveal the lovers. Ah, love is so simple; so too, perfect framing.

No comments: