La Chienne an early noir gem
Jean Renoir’s social drama that was controversial and banned in the US due to its racy subject matter. It was remade as the dark film noir Scarlet Street (1945) by Fritz Lang. It really is the noir gem that many overlook still to date. . It tells the story of Maurice Legrand, a naive man who falls in love with a prostitute and subsequently has his financial resources extorted from him by the prostitute and her pimp.
Michel Simon gives out a fine performance as Maurice Legrand. I would say he really shines greatly in this respective role. Janie Mereze shines greatly in her role as Lulu. Its acting really shines greatly as ever as normal for a Jean Renoir movie. Outstanding acting wins the day here.
Renoir’s direction is well thought out, creative, careful, and effective. The style is not at all the dominant Hollywood style of its time as it it really is well crafted out. Renoir’s stylistic developments in La Chienne there is a great use of depth of field in key scenes throughout this classic. The camera work shines greatly and great editing which does show of the magic of Jean Renoir to come.
La Chienne is a great classic by Jean Renoir which has such great acting and editing and camera work and really a noir classic gem that does set up an idea to come and many traits of Jean Renoir to come. If you are looking for an entry point into Renoir’s body of work or have seen the director’s more famous films such as Grand Illusion, Rules of the Game comes to mind. this is one classic for the ages.
The Ruth Rating: