• La Belle Équipe

    1936. France. Julien Duvivier. 101 min.

Thursday, May 7, 2009, 4:30 p.m.


  • La Belle Équipe

    1936. France. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Screenplay by Julien Duvivier, Charles Spaak. With Jean Gabin, Charles Vanel, Viviane Romance. Made during the gathering storms of war, economic collapse, and social unrest—and in the same radical cinematic year as Gregory La Cava's My Man Godfrey and Jean Renoir, Jacques Becker et al.'s La Vie est à Nous—La Belle Équipe has long been considered a celebration of Popular Front ideals of working-class solidarity and universal brotherhood. But the director’s preferred tragic ending—which, at the time of press, is scheduled to be shown here for the first time in the U.S.—renders this one of Duvivier’s bleakest masterpieces. Five penniless workers win the lottery and are able to realize their dream of opening a guinguette (café and pleasure garden) on the banks of the river Marne. Duvivier uses beautifully fluid camerawork, pastoral settings, and popular song to mark the escape of the five men from the crushing defeat of poverty—until their noble enterprise is sabotaged by a crime of passion. In French; English subtitles. 101 min.

In the Film exhibition Julien Duvivier

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