"La chasse a l'homme" is a delightfully funny movie, made with remarkable professionalism and accuracy by Edouard Molinaro, a director hugely gifted for comedies. The story revolves around various love/adulterine/sexy affairs, with an array of extremely comic situations. The brilliant dialogue is written with outstanding care. Much fun is based on a good-natured satire of the French cultural fashion-mania of that epoch: Existentialism, leftist "rive gauche" ideology, Sartre, Juliette Greco and so on. The cinematography is excellent, even too much for this sort of light-minded film. In fact, it seems to be an amiable mocking of the "nouvelle vague" style, another cultural icon of the early 1960s. The audience is gratified with the dazzling beauty of 21-years-old Catherine Deneuve, at the start of her career, in a minor but remarkably sexy role. The whole cast makes an outstanding job. Jean-Claude Brialy and Claude Rich are wonderful. A young soon-to-be-superstar Jean Paul Belmondo is excellent in his trade-mark role of the nice rascal. Look at the nod he makes to invite the aged rich woman to sit down at his table, in the Greek tavern: how could a guy be nicer than Belmondo? The first part of the film is perhaps the funniest, with a sequence of weird flashbacks to introduce the characters. But the second part is made precious by the presence of sweet Francoise Dorleac. I have a very soft eye for that poor girl. She has not the perfect beauty of her sister Catherine Deneuve, but, in my opinion, she is one of the most appealing women to have graced the screen. There she is: beautiful, nice and keen, charming, sweet, lovely, incredibly attractive and sexy (look at her eyes!), and so much talented, really a born-to-act girl. It is heart-breaking to see Francoise on the screen (always on the verge of falling in love with her...), meanwhile knowing that she was killed in a terrible car accident, at age twenty-five. Well, that is "La chasse a l'homme": a little masterpiece, plus the jewel Francoise Dorleac.
Antoine is about to get married to Gisèle. His friend Julien, a confirmed bachelor, tries desperately to talk him out of it, citing his own painful experiences.
September 11, 2020