Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Zero chemistry: Simone Signoret and Alain Delon
THE WIDOW COUDERC aka La veuve Couderc/1971). Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre.

In 1934 France an escaped prisoner, Jean (Alain Delon), encounters a middle-aged widow named Mrs. Couderc (Simone Signoret) and goes to work for her. The widow is hated by her in-laws, who live nearby, and is herself not too found of the young unwed mother, Felicie (Ottavia Piccolo), who runs around with her adorable baby in tow and catches Jean's eye. Jean and the widow begin an improbable relationship that has people in the village gossiping, and the in-laws out to expose the truth about Jean. Since few people wanted to see French sex symbol Delon [Joy House] carrying on with the now matronly and chubby Signoret [Games], the two are only seen in bed together once, when they are merely cuddling. The acting isn't bad, but if the characters had been better developed this might have been more convincing. As a romance it doesn't work at all. This is based on a novel by mystery writer Georges Simenon but it is neither a thriller nor a suspense yarn. The final subtitles providing some more information about Jean are so badly translated that they make absolutely no sense.

Verdict: Another disappointing Delon feature. **.


angelman66 said...

Agreed, I will skip this one. This was the era when France did all those very boring bucolic farm pictures where nothing exciting ever happens! I believe Signoret's husband Yves Montand did one like this around this time, and it too was a snooze.

William said...

Very funny comments, Chris!