Last chances

3 Grangier flicks for the road



You won't see these three films on the big screen any time soon! It is your last opportunity to take a journey to the land of Gilles Grangier, the great filmmaker of the people.


Maigret Sees Red

Grangier complained that Delannoy had taken the best novels to adapt (Maigret Sets a Trap, Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case) but he has nothing to be ashamed of in Maigret Sees Red, where writer Simenon faces off his beloved inspector with American thugs, who are a bit tougher than the French scoundrels. Moreover, Maigret (Gabin) is obliged to wield a pistol, but we know in a heartbeat he would prefer to be downing a glass of Calva at the zinc bar of a Parisian bistro. A faithful adaptation, featuring some fine scenes in an Italian-American restaurant of the 8th arrondissement, and a very young Françoise Fabian, as not such a femme fatale. Nostalgic baby boomers will be pleased to see Edward Meeks, one of the stars of the serial Les Globe-trotters, while Armontel is perfect as the Célinian doctor.





Maigret Sees Red (Maigret voit rouge, 1963, 1h27)
Lumière Terreaux Sun17 2:30pm
Previously unreleased print restored in 4K for Studiocanal at the VDM laboratory.



Hi-Jack Highway/Gas-oil

One of Grangier's best works. Gabin, as a model truck driver, travels the roads of Auvergne and finds himself pursued by hoodlums in search of a loot he doesn't have. The director succeeds - with the help of Michel Audiard for the first time - in portraying "people of little means", rendezvous at the truck rest stop, and lunches with plenty of booze under the gazebo. Jeanne Moreau takes us toward the dawn of modern cinema, perfectly cast as the teacher whom Gabin secretly loves, while being aware that everything is common knowledge in the small village. The finale has an air of a motorised western, showing that truckers can be unfriendly when you mess with them...



© DR


Hi-Jack Highway/Gas-oil (Gas-oil, 1955, 1h33)
UGC Ciné Cité Confluence Sun17 11am
Previously unreleased 4K restoration by TF1 Studios.



Operation Double Cross/Train d’enfer

The ageing Jean Marais breaks (fake) glass and (balsa) wood nonstop, performing ‘boom-pow!’ stunts orchestrated by Claude Carliez. Marais’s character works for the French intelligence agency (DST) and actively monitors crooks on the French-Spanish border, including the pin-up Marisa Mell (bearing a slight likeness to Clara Luciani). The choice of actors edges the film towards the German-Spanish-Italian B-movies of the time, with their delectable kitsch, confirmed by a line delivered by the German actor Gérard Tichy, familiar with the (sub)genre. Suspecting the famous painter of double crossing them, he declares, "I was always convinced he was a decadent artist! They are neo-Nazis, then!” Will they manage to get the hide of the captain? Grangier answers this question with the resources at his disposal, producing a sparkling Eastmancolor. However, the Techniscope, which enlarges each frame, somewhat squashes the proportions at the edge of the screen. It’s just right for a Sunday afternoon viewing.



© DR


Operation Double Cross/Train d’enfer (Train d’enfer, 1965, 1h32)
Previously unreleased 4K restoration by TF1 Studios.
UGC Astoria Sun17 2:30pm

Aurélien Ferenczi


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