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Espions, Les (1957)

Original Title : Espions, Les
Director : Henri-Georges Clouzot
Writer : Henri-Georges Clouzot
Jérôme Géronimi
Egon Hostovsky
Genre : Drama
Country : Italy
Language : French
Producer : Henri-Georges Clouzot
Music : Georges Auric
Photography : Christian Matras
IMDB ID : 0050367
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poster for "Espions, Les" by Henri-Georges Clouzot (1957)
Espions, Les (1957) - Henri-Georges Clouzot
 

Starring

Curd Jürgens Alex
Peter Ustinov Michel Kiminsky
O.E. Hasse Hugo Vogel
Sam Jaffe Sam Cooper
Paul Carpenter Colonel Howard
Véra Clouzot Lucie
Martita Hunt Connie Harper
Gérard Séty Docteur Malik
Gabrielle Dorziat Madame Andrée l'infirmière
Louis Seigner Valette
Pierre Larquey Le chauffeur de taxi
Georgette Anys La buraliste
Jean Brochard Le surveillant-général
Bernard La Jarrige Le garçon de café (as Bernard Lajarrige
Dominique Davray L'Alsacienne
Jacques Dufilho Peterson
Jean-Jacques Lécot Le faux contrôleur (as Jean-Jacques Lecot
Robert Lombard Le contrôleur
Patrick Dewaere Le petit Moinet (as Patrick Maurin
Clément Harari Victor
Sacha Pitoëff Léon (as Sacha Pitoeff
Fernand Sardou Pierre
Jack Ary Le serveur (uncredited
René Bergeron Gaston (uncredited
Charles Bouillaud Un agent (uncredited
Louis Bugette (uncredited
Robert Dalban (uncredited
Hubert Deschamps Un espion (uncredited
Jacques Hilling Un espion (uncredited
 

Comments

So ahead of its time it remains indecipherable today. This is HG Clouzot's most ambitious work ,one of the most demanding and complex movie of a soon-to-be -nouvelle-vague France.Let's put it straight:although modern to a fault,"les espions" has nothing to do with the nouvelle vague:no ""free" camera here",a bunch of "old actors", a very elaborate screenplay.The problem is that it has nothing to do with the "old guard" either.The "story" flouts conventions,and HGC does not give a damn if his audience cannot catch up with it.The film was bound to be a commercial failure,particularly with an audience who got enthusiastic over "le salaire de la peur'(wages of fear) and "les diaboliques" . The starting point may recall "the diaboliques": in this latter work,a seedy boarding-school,in "les espions" ,a doctor short of the readies,whose clinic is sinking.Sowhy not gladly agreeing a mysterious man's proposal?One million francs,if he puts "them" up?Who are "they"?That's how the doctor's(Gerard Sety) nightmare begins.He is caught up in the system,and a lot of threatening characters (played by topnotch international actors:Curd Jurgens,Martita Hunt,Curd Jurgens,Sam Jaffe)begin to show up:every time he thinks he begins to understand,the truth eludes him-Gérard Séty 's character predates Laurence Harvey's in "the Mandchourian candidate" and even Michael Douglas's in "the game".HGC watches the spies as if they were microbes under a microscope.It's a rather unpleasant view. Vera Clouzot-the unforgettable heroine of "les diaboliques" - appears in the role of a deaf and dumb neurotic woman(She was to die of an heart attack three years later). Clouzot 's health began to deteriorate during the sixties.After "les espions" he was to make only two works "la vérité"(the truth) one of Brigitte Bardot's best parts and "la prisonnière".He made only 11 movies in all,which may not seem much,but most of them are among the best works French cinema has produced.
 
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Espions, Les (1957) - Henri-Georges Clouzot
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