La menace

1961 [FRENCH]


IMDb Rating 6 10 45

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN



Robert Hossein as Savary

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 7 / 10

An overlooked film noir.

Gerard Oury hit the big time with his two comedies "le corniaud" (1963) and "la grande vadrouille" ,the latter being the greatest post-war phenomenon of the whole French cinema:it really smashed all records of the box-office.Commercially,it was a tour de force;artistically,well...let's be nice!

Unfortunately,all his previous works remained in obscurity .And this one "la menace" is a very interesting if minor film noir.Robert Hossein's and Marie-José Nat's performances are first-class,ambiguous,intense.Josepha(Marie-José Nat) is some kind of female James Dean ,an eighteen-year old girl who has been an outcast most of her life.She lives with an old uncle who does not give her any affection.She tries to join the local pack,but even with these youngsters ,she's ill-at-ease.So she tries to catch their attention by accusing the chemist (Robert Hossein)of a horrible murder.

Hossein and Nat are wonderful.Of course she's attracted by him,and vice versa ,but there's something nasty in their relationship:check the chemist's attitude in the movie theater when the couple is watching Jean Cocteau's "la belle et la bête".This work owes more to Hossein than to Oury:Hossein is par excellence the novelist Frederic Dard hero ,Frederic Dard whose "toi le venin"he adapted (an IMDb recommendation).The ending might have influenced Claude Chabrol for "le boucher" (1969).

A long flashback,the movie brilliantly opens and closes :first picture is a Nat's closed eyes close-up;last one is another close-up:she closes

her eyes,and she seems doomed to endless night.

Reviewed by info-627-664439 9 / 10

Impressive, Well-done Little Opus

1961's small film, "The Menace" is quite an impressive, intelligently made film noir starring Robert Hossein and Marie Jose Nat, who, I single out as giving a fantastically nuanced performance that is supremely supportive to the production. It is quite an accomplishment. Robert Hossein is sufficiently dubious as an older chemist who intrudes on Nat's character's naivete as she is a troubled youth, an orphant who being cared for by an self-centered ex-opera singer uncle played by Paolo Stoppa who uses her as servant until she rebels with hopes of joining a moped gang, causing her indiscretion of lying to impress them when one turns up strangled, and then getting caught up in her lies. The film was the first by director Gerard Oury that I've seen and it was well-written by Frederic Dard, Alain Poire and Oury. The script is a marvel of succinctness contributing to the splendid direction. The script is based on Dard's novel, "Les Mariolles" and Hossein's father Andre does the music for this one. Elsa Martinelli is also in the cast as Hossein's wife. B & W

Reviewed by happytrigger-64-390517 5 / 10

a rare Oury minor film noir

Gérard Oury was a specialist of hit comedies with Bourvil, Louis de Funès, Jean-Paul Belmondo....

But before directing comedies, his first efforts in directing films noirs were not successful and are today hard to find movies : "La Main Chaude" and "La Menace". "La Menace" is adapted from Frederic Dard, with Robert Hossein as a weird pharmacist. Robert Hossein is often associated with Frederic Dard's writings, as a director and/or actor : "Les Salauds Vont En Enfer", "Toi ... Le Venin", "Le Monte-Charge", these three having a strong atmosphere (just forget "Les Scélérats" in a nouvelle vague style).

"La Menace" isn't as noirish as these titles because we often see scenes with "les Marioles", a local happy gang of scooter riders. Marie-José Nat is a lonesome girl who often meets these comfortable hoodlums and she succeeds in belonging to the gang thanks to her transformation as a motorbike rider dressed in black leather (MJ Nat's performance as a motorbike rider is a must see as she is far from convincing). But MJ meets monsieur Savary (Robert Hossein) who helps her and they have a very confused love affair. This is a story hesitating between two directions, forgetting the main one with Robert Hossein, giving it very less suspense and atmosphere than it should : pity! Little details : you can often see some Lambretta scooters with the gang "les Marioles" and a Simca Versailles driven by Robert Hossein and also by Elsa Martinelli in a superb scene where she is surrounded by "les Marioles" on their Lambrettas gassing her with their mufflers ; this happens on the main place of Saint-Germain-En-Laye where the movie is sometimes shot (les Arcades and his bar, the forest next to the golf, a forest house at the entrance of the city, écluses de Bougival). You can even see the movie theatre Saint Lambert in Paris (inside and outside) with portraits of Jean-Paul Belmondo and of course Michèle Morgan.

About Gérard Oury's main contribution to film noir, we must not forget he co-wrote with Edouard Molinaro and Alain Poiré the extraordinary "Un Témoin Dans La Ville" in 1959 (adapted from Boileau and Narcejac).

After his next movie "Le Crime Ne Paie Pas", Gérard Oury listens to Louis de Funès telling him to orientate to comedy. And what a success...

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