Co-writer/ director Henri Colpi’s affecting 1961 first feature film stars Alida Valli as Thérèse Langlois, an isolated, lonely French bar proprietor, who sees an amnesiac tramp (Georges Wilson) walking past her small café in the suburbs of Paris. She he thinks could be her husband, who ended up in a prison camp 15 years before, but the man has lost his memory.
Written by Colpi, Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour) and Gérard Jarlot, the simple but moving and lyrical story is exceptionally acted and gorgeously handled. The film won the best film Palme D’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961 (shared with Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana).
It is shot by Marcel Weiss, produced by Alberto Barsanti and Claude Jaeger, scored by Georges Delerue, and designed by Maurice Colasson, and co-stars Jacques Harden, Diana [Diane] Lepvrier, Catherine Fonteney, Amédée, Charles Blavette, Pierre Parel, Nane Germon, Charles Bouillaud and Paul Faivre.
Little-known Henri Colpi (1921–2006) made only four more features, including Codine (1963) and The Mysterious Island (1973).
© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 4884
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