.... It is a slight tale but Ophuls invests it with a world of emotion as the foolish wife learns to her cost. Charles Boyer as the husband, and Vittorio De Sica as the Baron are perfect in their roles as is Darrieux as the flightly Madame De ... The earrings go back and forth until the husband declines to buy them a fourth time. We then progress to a duel ... The gliding camera-work pays loving attention to the period sets while our three leads act out their roles in this sublime film.
LA RONDE, 1964. Roger Vadim created a LA RONDE for the 1960s with his colour version, featuring a round-up of European players of the time, including Maurice Ronet, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean Sorel, Catherine Spaak, Anna Karina and Marie Dubois, plus Mrs Vadim, Jane Fonda, and scripted by Jean Anouilh, and photographed by the great Henri Decae. Maurice Binder does a neat title sequence, the equal of his Bond titles. Updated to Art Nouveau 1914, just before World War One, it is light and undemanding and the cast look good, if rather too Sixities.
LES LIAISIONS DANGEREUSES. Vadim's 1959, introduced by himself, looks terrific with those gleaming black and white images, with Jeanne Moreau and Gerard Philipe, plus Jean-Louis Trintignant and the latest Vadim girl Annette Stroyberg (rather a blank actually). Add in that score by Thelonius Monk.
Juliette Merteuil and Valmont are a sophisticated couple, always looking for fun and excitement. Both have sexual affairs with others and share their experiences with one another. But there is one rule: never fall in love. But this time Valmont falls madly in love with a girl he meets at a ski resort, Marianne.
Moreau is sensational here as the evil woman with designs on others and wanting her revenge (which of course backfires on her) for a perceived slight. This was considered sensational time, from the De Laclos novel, updated to the 1950s with that smart Parisian set and was heady stuff for the arthouse crowd in 1959 with those decadent parties, and all that jazz .... there is that last great line about Juliette: after her face being burnt, that she is now wearing her soul on her face!
Gerard Philipe died that year, more on him at label, as Moreau was coming into her great era, as was Trintignant. It is as fascinating as the later Glenn Close-John Malkovich version by Stephen Frears in 1987.