English Films, French Critics Part II -- 1957
This is the second part of my study of the attitudes of French critics to English cinema in the 1950s. It follows for English Films, French Critics Nov '55 - Dec '56.
Four English films were released in Paris for this issue - The Night My Number Came Up, The Green Man, It's Great to be Young and Richard III. Also, the magazine cited Run for the Sun, an Anglo-American production directed by Ray Boulting with the American films.
Only Richard III was considered by the conseil des dix. There it collected a total of 20 stars. Pierre Braunberger gave it 4 stars, while Jean-Pierre Vivet gave it 3 stars. Also, among Cahiers regulars, André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Pierre Kast gave the film 2 stars, while Eric Rohmer gave the film 1 star. Among the non-Cahiers panelists, Henri Agel, Jean de Baroncelli and Positif's Robert Benayoun all gave the film 2 stars. François Truffaut was the only abstention .
There were no English films released in Paris reported for this issue.
There were 3 films listed under English in the "films released in Paris" section this month - Cast a Dark Shadow, The Long Arm and The Man Who Never Was. Of these, only the Anglo-American production The Man Who Never Was was considered by the conseil des dix. It received a total of 3 stars - 2 from Georges Sadoul and 1 from Robert Benayoun. André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, François Truffaut and Eric Rohmer all bulleted the film as did Henri Agel, Jean de Baroncelli and Pierre Braunberger. Jacques Rivette provided the only abstention.
A Town Like Alice, The Black Tent, Father's Doing Fine and The Stranger Came Home were all listed under "Films released in Paris - English" in this issue of Cahiers. Only A Town Like Alice received consideration from the conseil. Four panelists - Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Henri Agel, Georges Sadoul and Jean-Pierre Vivet - each gave it 1 star. Five - François Truffaut, Eric Rohmer plus Jean de Baroncelli, Pierre Braunberger and France Roche - bulleted the film. André Bazin abstained.
No English films listed.
Seven films appeared under the rubric "English" on the "films released in Paris" section for this month. The Battle of the River Plate, Meet Mr Callaghan, Private's Progress, Pennywhistle Blues, The Quartermass Experiment, Zarak and the Anglo-American production Saint Joan directed by Cahiers favorite Otto Preminger.
Only Saint Joan was considered by the conseil. It received 5 stars - 3 from Jacques Rivette and 1 each from George Sadoul and Henri Agel. François Truffaut and Eric Rohmer bulleted the film as did Jean de Baroncelli and France Roche. Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, J-P Vivet and Pierre Braunberger all abstained.
Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, and Charles Bitsch all placed Saint Joan on "10 best films for 1957" lists published in January 1958.
François Truffaut placed the film Pennywhistle Blues on his "10 best films for 1957" list published in January 1958.
Additionally, the Anglo-American film Around the World in 80 Days directed by Michael Anderson was released in Paris for this issue. It garnered 12 stars from the conseil - 3 from France Roche, 2 from François Truffaut and also Henri Agel and Jean de Baroncelli, and 1 from Jacques Doniol-Valcroze as well as Pierre Braunberger and Georges Sadoul. J-P Vivet bulleted the film. Both Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer abstained.
In January 1958, "Robert Lachenay" listed Around the World in 80 Days in his "10 best films for 1957". Whether this is actually Robert Lachenay's list or an attempt by François Truffaut to provide two "10 best films for 1957" lists, I cannot confirm. Significantly, there is no overlap between Truffaut's list and Lachenay's.
Interpol, Lost and Odongo were listed in the "films released in Paris - English" section. None got consideration from the conseil.
Men of Sherwood Forest, Spin a Dark Web, Three Men in a Boat, True as a Turtle and The Iron Petticoat were the "films released in Paris" for this issue of Cahiers.
Three Men in a Boat received a lone star from France Roche. It was bulleted by Fereydoun Hoveyda and Jean-Luc Godard, plus Jean de Baroncelli and Henri Agel. While Charles Bitsch, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze plus Pierre Braunberger all abstained.
The Iron Petticoat - an English production which co-starred Katherine Hepburn and Bob Hope - received 2 stars - one each from France Roche and Henri Agel. It was bulleted by Eric Rohmer, Fereydoun Hoveyda, and Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, as well as Jean de Baroncelli. The remainder of the panelists - Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Charles Bitsch plus Pierre Braunberger all abstained.
"Films released in Paris - English" this month included The Baby and the Battleship, Brothers in Law and the Anglo-American production Seven Waves Away (American title - Abandon Ship!) was credited anong American films.
Neither The Baby and the Battleship nor Brothers in Law were considered by the conseil.
Seven Waves Away/Abandon Ship! received a total of 10 stars - 3 from Pierre Braunberger, 2 each from Charles Bitsch, Jacques Rivette and Jean-Luc Godard and 1 from Jacques Doniol-Valcroze. Positif's Robert Benayoun was the lone bullet. André Bazin and J-P Vivet, plus Henri Agel and Georges Sadoul all abstained.
In this issue, Cahiers cited The Colditz Story, How to Murder a Rich Uncle, Reach for the Sky and Town on Trial as English films "released in Paris" in the previous month. Only How to Murder a Rich Uncle got any consideration from the conseil. It was given 2 stars by Henri Agel, and 1 each from Jean de Baroncelli and Robert Benayoun. J-P Vivet bulleted the film. André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer, plus Pierre Braunberger and Georges Sadoul all abstained.
This issue listed The Steel Bayonet, Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York, and Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl as English films "released in Paris".
The Chaplin film was awarded a total of 33 stars. Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques Rivette, and Charles Bitsch from Cahiers, plus Pierre Braunberger and Georges Saduol gave the film 4 stars. André Bazin, plus Jean de Baroncelli and Robert Benayoun gave the film 3 stars. Henri Agel and J-P Vivet gave it 2 stars.
The Olivier film received 6 stars. 2 stars each from Jean de Baroncelli and J-P Vivet and 1 star each from Charles Bitsch and Robert Benayoun. Only Jacques Doniol-Valcroze bulleted the film. André Bazin and Jacques Rivette, plus Henri Agel, Pierre Braunberger, and Geroges Sadoul all abstained.
Four Cahiers regulars, Charles Bitsch, Jacques Rivette, Jean Domarchi and Jacques Doniol-Valcroze placed A King in New York 1st on their "10 best films" list for 1957. Other Cahiers regulars citing the film were Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Fereydoun Hoveyda, Luc Moullet and Françis Truffaut. Non-Cahiers staffers citing the film were Jean de Baroncelli, Pierre Braunberger and Georges Sadoul.
This series follows with English Films, French Critics 1958