Quai des Orfevres

International Critics’ Week Award
Venice Film Festival
A stunningly well-made entertainment...in this country it never got the audience it deserved.


Quai des Orfevres

New Restoration of Rare French Noir Classic from the the director of “WAGES OF FEAR” and “DIABOLIQUE." QUAI DES ORFÈVRES (1947), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s little-seen classic of French film noir, starring acting great Louis Jouvet, is being re-released by Rialto Pictures in a new restoration with newly-translated subtitles.

Another bitter post-war Christmas is in the air as saucy go-getter Jenny Lamour (played by Suzy Delair, Clouzot's real-life lover) warms up an entertainment-starved Paris music hall audience
with a swing of her ineffably euphemistic “tra-la-la,” part of the arsenal of charms she uses in her breakthrough to the big time. It also means suggestive publicity photos taken by sympathetic
lesbian photographer Simone Renant, and a nocturnal meeting with sleazy movie financier Charles Dullin (“the dirtiest old man on celluloid” – David Shipman). Still, she swears fidelity to her balding, congenitally jealous accompanist husband Bernard Blier (father of director Bertrand), who, convinced she’s already hit the casting couch, issues an all-too-public death threat against the old fogey. So when Dullin winds up
très mort, Blier becomes Suspect No. 1 at the “Quai des Orfèvres,” France’s Scotland Yard equivalent. Enter the legendary Louis Jouvet (“the greatest theater man of his generation and one of the half-dozen great screen actors” – Shipman) as the gruff, slightly seedy, toothbrush-mustached Maigret-like Inspector Antoine, who begins to take apart Blier’s meticulous alibi...

Brilliantly transforming a classic whodunit plot, Gallic Master of Suspense Henri-Georges Clouzot takes us from the wings and dressing rooms of the Parisian music hall and circus worlds to the
drab, airless corridors and holding cells of the Quai’s Criminal Investigations Department, in a blend of social realism and psychological cruelty that became his trademark. One of the
uncontested masterpieces of the post-war French cinema, but rarely seen here since its original U.S. release (as Jenny Lamour) -- and never on either TV or video -- QUAI DES ORFÈVRES (pronounced “Kay Daze Or-FEHVR”) is a Film Noir tour-de-force that won Clouzot the coveted Best Director prize at Venice, long before his more famous international triumphs
The Wages of Fear and Diabolique. This new StudioCanal restoration refurbishes the chiaroscuro sheen of Armand Thirard’s brooding images and Max Douy’s vivid production design, with brand new subtitles by Lenny Borger capturing the linguistic richness of Clouzot’s dialogue.
Crime, Drama, French Cinema, Auteur Cinema
Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stanislas-André Steeman, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jean Ferry
Louis Jouvet, Suzy Delair, Bernard Blier, Simone Renant, Charles Dullin, Henri Arius, Pierre Larquey, René Blancard, Jean Daurand, Gilberte Geniat, Claudine Dupuis, Jean Sinoel, Jeanne Fusier-Gir, Robert Dalban, Charles Blavette
Winner, International Critics’ Week Award, Venice Film Festival
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