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Les Roquevillard

Les Roquevillard

A Feature film by Jean Dréville

Produced by Sirius Films

Release in France : 28/07/1943

    Actors (26)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producer :

    Sirius Films

    French distribution :

    Sirius Films

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    StudioCanal Films Limited

    Subject

    Review

    Given its stale subject (the son of wealthy family elopes with the wife of a notary, thus shaming the family name) and its outdated morality (even if you make mistakes, being part of the possessors automatically makes you a respected person), "Les Roquevillard", made in the occupied France of 1943, should be just unwatchable. But not at all : seeing this film is in no way an ordeal. Credit for that goes to gifted (and still slightly underrated) director Jean Dréville, who manages to make the most of Charles Exbrayat's adaptation of Henry Bordeaux's old-fashioned novel. The weak point of "Les Roquevillard" is that its script retains the novelist's unreserved plea for great families and the ruling class. For, it has to be said, crying over those poor rich is a hard thing to do unless you belong to their cast. Nevertheless, there are a few good points in the screenplay such as the presence of two interesting characters, a malicious notary named Hector Frasne (played with cool conviction by Jacques Varennes) and Jeanne Sasseray, a fresh, vivacious and outspoken young lady ( performed with the required dose of snap by Simone Valère). It also contains some fine lines such as the one delivered by Simone Valère: "I've got to take advantage of my youth to be candid. I'll have all the time in the world to be false later on." But the real quality of "Les Roquevillard" lies in Jean Dréville's artistic choices. The images of his film are really beautiful: fine framing, discreet but efficient camera movements, carefully crafted shots, magnificent lighting based on interplay between light and shadow. On the other hand, he is a good actor director, getting a great actor performance from Charles Vanel (much more restrained than usual) and a passable one from small-time thespians by the name of Jean Pâqui or Raymond Galle. The only really unsatisfactory interpretation surprisingly comes from the usually dependable Fernand Charpin, really ridiculous as a highly improbable Italian sculptor. His Marseilles accent really won't do! All in all, for all its shortcomings, "Les Roquevillard" is a globally good movie whereas in other hands than Jean Dréville's, it could have been an awful turkey. Some kind of a feat, in a way.

    Source : IMDb

    Full credits (11)

    Assistant Director :

    Stany Cordier

    Dialogue Writer :

    Charles Exbrayat

    Producer :

    Lucien Masson

    Director of Photography :

    Robert Lefebvre

    Production Designer :

    Roland Quignon

    Costume designer :

    Elisabeth Simon

    Adapter/dialogue writer :

    Charles Exbrayat

    Author of original work :

    Henry Bordeaux

    Screenwriter :

    Jean Dréville

    Sound Recordist :

    Lucien Lacharmoise

    Music Composer :

    Maurice Thiriet

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Sub-genre :

    Drama

    Production language :

    French

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Nationality :

    100% French

    Production year :

    1943

    French release :

    28/07/1943

    Runtime :

    1 h 35 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Visa number :

    66

    Visa issue date :

    31/08/1943

    Approval :

    Yes

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Black & White

    Aspect ratio :

    1.37

    Audio format :

    Mono