B&W, Blu-ray projection source
Jacques Becker lovingly evokes the belle epoque Parisian demimonde in this classic tale of doomed romance — the French equivalent of the legend of Frankie and Johnny. When gangster’s moll Marie (Simone Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Serge Reggiani), their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads inexorably to treachery and tragedy. With poignant, nuanced performances and sensuous black-and-white photography, “Casque d’or” is Becker at the height of his cinematic powers — a romantic masterpiece.
Tom Milne in Time Out London enthuses: “This elegant masterwork is a glowingly nostalgic evocation of the Paris of the Impressionists, focusing on the apache underworld and an ill-starred romance that ends on the scaffold.... Signoret, as voluptuously sensual as a Rubens painting, has never been more stunning than as the Golden Marie of the English title; and she is perfectly partnered by Reggiani, seemingly carved out of mahogany yet revealing an ineffable grace in movement, as the honest carpenter who defies the malevolent apache leader (Claude Dauphin) to claim her. Along with ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman,’ one of the great movie romances.”
With an introduction and post-film discussion by Diane Carson, professor emerita of film at St. Louis Community College at Meramec and film critic for KDHX (88.1 FM).