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The Devil and the Angel aka La Foire aux Chimeres 1946
French WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Erich von Stroheim ... Frank Davis
Madeleine Sologne ... Jeanne
Jean-Jacques Delbo ... Lenoir
Margo Lion ... Marie-Louise
Annette Poivre ... La remplaçante
Louis Salou ... Furet
Yves Vincent ... Lenoir
A word from an expert on the subject: dbmonteil of the IMDb:
"La Foire aux chimères" is a jewel, a sparkling diamond. It would deserve one hundred comments, and that would not be enough.
Pierre Chenal was a film noir director who made moderately successful movies before the war: "L'Alibi" which featured von Stroheim too and his first version of "The Postman always rings twice ", "Le Dernier Tournant (1939). But the 1946 work is much superior, being at once a film noir, a baroque melodrama and a fairy tale.
Frank, a disfigured man (von Stroheim) meets at a fair a beautiful blind long-haired blonde Jeanne (Madeleine Sologne) who is a knives thrower's partner; this man, Robert, has a lover, Clara. Jeanne marries the ugly man, undergoes an operation and recovers sight. But,as says Marilou, Frank's housekeeper a proverb says "happiness is a misfortune you cannot see".
There are at least ten (and maybe more) memorable sequences; each one is actually a work of art. Even if the movie is close to the realisme poetique dear to Carné, Chenal transcends it and makes a movie which verges on fantastic: when Jeanne appears for the first time at the fair (la foire aux chimères =the dreams fair), she looks like a fairy, or an angel, the angel she plays in the small circus where Frank is the only spectator. The baroque house where von Stroheim hides his beloved wife is a splendor. It's also a trompe l'oeil.
1 hour 33 minutes
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