Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 8. May 27, 1953
Manon . .
Manon . . .
The film version is Prevost's story brought up to modem times, and with it comes all the harshness and cynicism associated with this ago of ours. We have the bold talc of faithlessness and faith between two strangely restless young lovers in the vortex of post-war France. The ageless story of fickle women. Once again the oddities of love are displayed with as much enthusiasm in French film as in French literature.
Gallic frankness if you like, but did the director have to give us so much brutishness, sadism, immorality, pessimism? Not one glimpse that I remembered of the original story. What a censor's nightmare! I hated this film and it was only the technical brilliance of the thing that kept me there.
The presentation la masterly. Camera angles, photography, cutting, atmosphere, pictorial effects and acting. Manon, vivid lovely little blonde, natural, lively, sure, perhaps naive. Bust measurements available from the director, also detailed analysis of camera angles and make of camera used. Serge Reggiani as the heavy unscrupulous opportunist—his usual polished performance. Henri Clouzot, the director, a magnificent technician. Hail him! Women and men, we live in the age of factories. And cinematic technical virtuosity. Technicians be praised, and b—the artists!
Grading: * * * (*)