Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case

1959 [FRENCH]

Crime / Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1148

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March 26, 2021 at 01:02 AM



928.79 MB
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23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 8 / 10

Old cinema against a new wave.

1959...The nouvelle vague is striking.A bunch of young turks is yelling that old fogey gotta go.Among them,the most despised of them all,Jean Delannoy.It will become hip to put disparagement over the par excellence "academic" director.Make way for us ,Godard,Truffaut,Resnais et al!

"Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre" has worn superbly well.It was restored to favor by French critic Jacques Lacourcelles,ten years ago,quite rightly so.Delannoy may not be an auteur,in the sense of the word you generally admit,but he is a wonderful story teller.He hides behind his characters,he is not a genius of the seven art,but he is a genuine craftsman for sure.

George Simenon's novel,which includes hints at Maigret's childhood is first-rate and Michel Audiard's dialogues are often very funny (There's nothing more to take in this mansion,but the 12.15 train).The black and white cinematography is very effective,and depicts a world collapsing:the fallen aristocracy's represented by an old noble lady with a fondness for gigolos (A moving Valentine Tessier) and her spineless and cynical offspring (Michel Auclair,one of the best actors of his generation).She is killed,in a church during a service ,and Maigret (proof positive that Jean Gabin had great parts after the golden thirties era)investigates.The climax of the movie is the final diner :the captain gathers all his suspects and it's time for rancour and hate between all these men revolving round a once shining now fading star.

A strange feeling of nostalgia lingers after the last shots.Down with the nouvelle vague,and give M.Delannoy the respect he deserves!

Reviewed by bob998 8 / 10

Maigret's getting old

Yes, Delannoy was kicked around quite a bit by those young Cahiers critics, some of whom went on to make stodgy films themselves (if I have to watch another soporific Chabrol "thriller", I may give up movies altogether). Delannoy was a solid craftsman who gave us two blond deities in Jean Marais and Madeleine Sologne (wonderful L'Eternel retour), and the gorgeous, although sightless blue eyes of Michele Morgan in La symphonie pastorale. That picture opened up new vistas of sexuality for me.

But a craftsman can only do so much. There is a lack of focus here, the result of some bad casting. Some of the acting is atrocious: Robert Hirsch as the art expert Sabatier, one of the prime suspects, is always on the verge of hysterics. Michel Vitold as the priest gives off guilty vibes, although he hasn't done anything. Only Valentine Tessier and Michel Auclair, playing mother and son, rise to the occasion. Tessier and Gabin have a delightful scene together at the opening, talking about the old days in their little town. Auclair is especially good as the corrupt heir to a declining fortune; he looks like he stepped out of a Rococo painting.

Reviewed by writers_reign 7 / 10

Follow That Cab

This is yet another chance to compare real films made by real filmmakers to the dross churned out by the new waveleteers. This well-crafted example albeit it something of a bread-and-butter title appeared in the same year as Godard's Brainless, a title widely accepted amongst the pseud-Academic axis as the start of the nouvelle vague. Fortunately 1959 was long on films of this calibre and short on dross like Brainless. Dbmonteuil has already pointed out that Delannoy was the favourite whipping-boy of the no-talent Cahiers crew and this is an opportunity to see just how fine a craftsman he was. It was Gabin's second outing as Jules Maigret and there would be one more before he called time. Although it falls a tad short of Maigret Sets A Trap, the initial outing there is still much to commend this follow up not lest Delannoy's sure-footed direction which coaxes some fine ensemble playing from his actors. Check it out.

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