Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 18 July 2011

People We Like: Gerard Philipe, the Knave of Hearts

KNAVE OF HEARTS (or MONSIEUR RIPOIS). Back to the cinema for a rare screening of Rene Clement’s 1954 film about a romantic Frenchman on the loose in London and his conquests, including young Joan Greenwood at her loveliest – their scenes in the rain are very lyrical. Other women who fall under his spell include the prostitute (Germaine Montero) who takes him in when he is suddenly homeless and destitute, Valerie Hobson, Margaret Johnston and Natasha Parry. It is cleverly done with Clement shooting on the streets of London (with mostly hidden cameras) 5 years before the New Wave were doing the same in Paris.

Gerard Philipe is mesermising with those soulful eyes magnified on the large screen – what a loss he was, dying at age 36 in 1959 – just as Delon, Belmondo and the others got going. Now for his other roles like FANFAN LA TULIPE (with the luscious Gina Lollobrigida) and he is one of the LA RONDE merry-go-round, and I have been promised a copy of Vadim's 1959 LES LAISIONS DANGEROUSES with Jeanne Moreau, his last film. I have already reviewed here his 1958 MONTPARNASSE 19 as the painter Modigliani, a standard biopic, but with Anouk Aimee and Lilli Palmer.

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