Page 6, 25th May 1962

25th May 1962
Page 6
Page 6, 25th May 1962 — DESPITE THE 'X'

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Lockhart By Freda Bruce

FOR more than three quarters of its course. Jules and Jim ("X certificate, Cameo-Poly) is as entrancing as it is intriguing. This is to me unquestionable, although the triangular design for living which seems its basis makes the "X" certificate inevitable. it is directed by Francois Truffaut, whose "Quatrc Cent Coups" was one of the most deeply moving as well as exhilarating examples of the French so-called New Wave. A much more eccentric and elusive piece was "Don't Shoot The Pianist".

The present film recalls something of both these predecessors. The opening introduction to the two heroes, and the beginning of their friendship, is an original and brilliant piece of motion picture narrative. Pace is one of the fundamental elements of movie-making, and the dashing swift strokes in which the characters here are established sweeps one off one's seat.

When Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) emerges from the medley of early girl-friends to be loved by both Jules and Jim, the action keeps its elan. When she marries the Austrian Jules (beautifully played by Oscar Werner) and the First Great War separates the friends, the measure lengthens subtly.

At the end of the war the trio are re-united and the film suggests human relationships of more than usual reality. Their day in the country catches a mood of joy seldom touched so lightly in a film. But by now it has been made clear

that Catherine is constitutionally unfaithful, has been so to the longsuffering Jules and would be to the more easy-going Jim (Henri Serre) whom inevitably she now wants to marry.

From here the situation dissolves into uncertainty, never to be satisfactorily resolved. Perhaps Truffaut himself was not sure what he meant, but the concluding stages seem as much a betrayal of the wonderful acting as of Truffaut's own brilliant beginning. Jeanne Moreau is a tremendously powerful actress. The whole picture would seem worth seeing if only for the radiance and command with which she puts over a little French song.

ANOTHER magnificent perform ance by an actress, this time British, is by far the best thing about another "X" certificate movie, All Fall Down (at the Ritz). Angela Lansbury plays an allAmerican momma whose doting silliness has turned her elder son (Warren Beatty) into a boor and the younger (Brandon de Wilde) into a milksop. The boor, called Berry-Berry to add to the irritation, throws women about, smashes a shop window showing a Christmas crib, and drives the woman h loves to suicide. The milksop unintelligibly so devoted to th boor that he even agrees to sacr fice the girl (Eva Marie Sain' they both fall in love with.

All these players. and Karl Ma' den as a useless father, do wilt: they can with impossible part. But Miss Lansburv's triumph is caricature the irksome, idiocy o the poor silly woman and yet make her desperation genuinel pathetic and poignant.

"STRONGHOLD" ("A" certif cate, Leicester Square Theatn is a very minor British thriller The idea of the raid on tt country bank which necessitate the manager and his secrete' being locked in the safe for Bank Holiday week-end is a got. one, as these pretty things,go. It easy to see why it was thoug promising. When one of the rcn hers insists on trying to reles their victims and save probe,' murder it seems intended to en vey a Catholic upbringing — "4 old man, God rest his soul" – though not much is made ol But there is such lack of cotvic tion both in the characters an their situation that no real sup pence is created.

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