The Story of a Three-Day Pass

1967 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 329

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM

Cast

720p.BLU
808.3 MB
1204*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 9 / 10

It's an amazing film....very timely and insightful.

Melvin Van Peebles is a hard film maker to understand. Some of his films are exceptional--wonderful examples of low-budget film making as well as a film with a message. And yet, I have difficulty getting past the fact that he was the same film maker who made one of the worst films I have ever seen ("Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song")--which was inept on just about every level. I don't understand this...but i am happy I didn't stop watching after I saw "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song"---otherwise I would have missed some tremendous films.

"The Story of a Three-Day Pass" is Van Peebles' first full-length film and it really helped me appreciate the film more by watching the introduction that comes on the DVD. Van Peebles explains how he made the film in France and the movie was accepted to a film festival in California--where the film was welcomed by the same people that NEVER would have allowed him to make this film! Talk about irony. Much of this was because black film makers were not usually offered money to make movies. And, even if this WOULD have happened in the 1960s, it's HIGHLY unlikely that they would have given him a movie where the plot involves an interracial romance between a black American soldier and a white French woman! It's a shame, as it is a terrific little film.

As the film was made in France, pickings for the leading role were naturally thin. So Van Peebles selected Harry Baird (who was born in Guyana and lived in Britain) for the lead. Yes, his accent isn't quite right--but I could make an allowance for that. And Baird did do a nice job--playing a man who has to tread the difficult path between playing the system and being a 'nice negro' and be proud. As for the female lead, Nicole Berger is sweet as the French woman who can see the man in Baird...period. Their romance is very sweet they meet and then spend a weekend together. However, Baird's character is in the US Army--and when his fellow white soldiers see him fraternizing with a white woman, his pending promotion is definitely at risk as racism is still alive and well in American culture in 1968 and such happenings were NOT tolerated.

Despite the low budget and a few minor rough spots, I was super-impressed by this movie. It looked very professional and sounded it as well--on par with other French films of the time, even though it was made by a man with hardly any experience. The leads also were terrific and very likable--so much that you really are pulling for them throughout the film. And, on top of all this, the film had a great message. As a result, I am giving the film a 9--as compared to other low-budget films, it's head and shoulders better.

A few of the many wonderful scenes to look for in the film is the standing at the Spanish restaurant when Baird's character thinks the man is hurling a racial insult at him, when the black ladies' group comes to visit the base as well as the love scenes. Wow...what a film.

By the way, in a nod to French sensibilities at the time, it's not surprising that the characters were very sexual in the film (though compared to "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" the nudity and sexuality is VERY muted and fits with the story). But parents might want to think twice about having younger kids see this or at least reinforce the old expression "Kids: don't try this at home".

Reviewed by rmax304823 5 / 10

Crossing Lines.

Harry Baird is an African-American soldier stationed in France in the 1960s. He's given a three-day pass as a reward for his trustworthiness. In Paris, he falls in with a young white women, Nicole Berger, and they have a lot of fun dancing, drinking, strolling around. She's on a brief vacation from her store and they agree to spend the rest of the weekend at the beach. They rent a single room, have discreet sex a couple of times, laugh, run around, observe the goings on, and -- the end.

My satellite TV guide described this as the story of a black soldier who is demoted for "fraternization with a white woman" and I was expecting something entirely different, something far more dramatic.

Instead what we get are some poorly directed and acted leftover from nouvelle vague. Occasionally, a few frames will be omitted from a dialog scene, a whimsical conceit I first noticed in Goddard's "Breathless." Then, at times, especially during the non-passionate sex scenes, we get to see what the participants are imagining. The way the director lets us know that what we are seeing are imaginary scenes is that the camera slowly moves in on the side of the head of the person whose fantasies are about to be revealed. Baird's fantasies are about being a well-dressed nobleman in a huge mansion. Berger's fantasies are evidently about being gang banged by half a dozen Africans in a jungle.

The director, Melvin van Peebles, does his best to make us smile and to laugh with recognition as the awkwardness of the two principles but it doesn't work very well. We can tell when a couple are happy with one another. They hold hands and smile, perhaps a little shyly, in public. Here they laugh maniacally, skip, run around like five-year-olds with ADD, as in the Zuckerman's parody of being in love in the Police Squad movies. Watching this is like being hit over the head with a crowbar. It's impossible to take it seriously.

Of the performances, it's possible to say Harry Baird is no better than average while Nicole Berger is an accomplished actress. I can't tell if he's handsome or not because I have no way of judging, but Berger is classically attractive and has an appealing winsome quality. She died in a traffic accident at an early age, with some good work behind her.

Overall, a disappointment. Van Peebles has done other films better than this one. "Watermelon Man" had some racist elements but was also extremely funny at times.

Reviewed by richardchatten 7 / 10

An American in Paris

Based on his own novel, Melvin Van Peebles' calling card as a director - made in France at the tail end of the nouvelle vague - owes more to Lelouch than Godard.

Van Peebles enterprisingly shows all the unsympathetic characters (including nearly all the white characters and his sarcastic alter ego seen in the mirror) using a subjective camera. Unfortunately this also includes a clucking coven of black women, the only really sympathetic character once more being an attractive and obliging white woman (played by the late Nicole Berger) he picks up and with whom he enjoys a weekend of love; a convention that would have drawn approbation had it been practised by a white director.

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