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Les visiteurs du soir (Criterion Collection)
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As for the film itself, a romantic fantasy set in medieval France and based on legend, I felt I should dock it a star because it so obviously suffers in comparison to its successor, Carné's ultimate masterpiece, «Les Enfants du Paradis» ("The Children of Paradise"). After a brilliant start (through the whole banquet sequence), the film gets progressively bogged down in its convoluted plot (that takes too long to resolve itself), becoming overly talky and a bit tedious in the process. However, the ending is so iconic that much of this can be forgiven.
Worth noting is the comment by the renowned French film critic Georges Sadoul regarding «Les Visiteurs du soir» (with which I would concur): that some of "the fantasy is rather forced." However, for appreciators and students of French cinema, this is a film that should not be missed, given its historical context. It launched a trend of other notable French films under the Occupation that, beneath a veneer of ostensibly escapist fare that eluded the Fascist censors, contained a subversive subtext of a yearning to be free from the forces of oppression.
The movie has a meditative, rhythmic, and slightly poetic quality to it. The dialogue and English subtitles are very crisp and clear. The costumes are spot on and they alone will make you feel that you've escaped to another time and place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A french classic always a classic !!! So wonderful that we can get it on amazon ! A must see !!Published 4 months ago by WASCALLY WABBIT
- great black and white quality ... I can't believe it was made in 1942.
- story drags on and on
- I speak French but the subtitles are... Read more
Anything written by Prevert is pure poetry and always a pleasure to watch. Arletty is amazing. Not as great as Children of Paradise or accessible as Hotel du nord but still . . .Published on April 4, 2014 by Michel
I enjoyed this movie with its mysterious aura. One gets caught up in the intrigue of the action and the characters.Published on October 15, 2013 by W. Hill
If you like the Cocteau fantasy's this will float your boat. I was never into the "French new wave" but the fantasy's are great.Published on July 20, 2013 by John
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