On Trial



IMDb Rating 6.6 10 96


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December 8, 2019


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927.83 MB
23.976 fps
110 min
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1.67 GB
23.976 fps
110 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 7 / 10 / 10

And justice for no one.

At first sight,Duvivier seems to follow in André Cayatte's footsteps.At the time,the latter director had launched a crusade against all the miscarriages of justice and had begun to champion any good cause going.But further acquaintance shows this:"l'affaire Maurizius" is a Duvivier movie .In Cayatte's movies,the problems are finally generally solved: in "Nous Sommes Tous Des Assassins" ,René was granted a pardon,in "Les Risques du Métier" ,the schoolteacher was rehabilitated.Even when the story turns black ("Le Glaive et la Balance" or "Justice est Faite") ,Cayatte " manages to limit the damage" so to speak.One should note that the young lead ,Jacques Chabassol,was part of Cayatte's "Avant le Deluge" (1953). In "l'Affaire Maurizius",no one was saved:the judge has lost his son who is ashamed of his father ,the son has lost all his illusions,the gorgeous reluctant femme fatale has turned into a prematurely aged lady,her former lover is now living on the fringes of society,and the chastised innocent ......his fate is sealed as soon as the film begins... ....because,when the movie begins,"L'Affaire Maurizius" is an old one everybody wants to forget.That an innocent man may have spent seventeen years in jail does not seem to move the bourgeois judge (Charles Vanel),jealous of his privileges.Little by little,through flashbacks,scenes of the past resurfaces again .The judge 's son believes in justice and wants to save the prisoner(Daniel Gélin)who was "burried alive" .But Waremme (Anton Walbrook) tries to explain to him that the society scoffs at the law:while he is talking to the desperate young man,two dancers appear as shadow graphs on the window.This is the key to the film and to Duvivier's black world. "L'Affaire Maurizius" is wrapped in mystery: all the flashbacks are filmed in places which seem secret and where a danger seems impending.The film sets are bare when they depict the past,emphasizing the characters who,unfortunately,with the exception of Vanel,sometimes display a tendency to overact.This misty atmosphere will emerge again in later works such as "Marianne de Ma Jeunesse" or "La Chambre Ardente". Some objections to "l'Affaire Maurizius" remain: overacting (Anton Walbrook verges on ridicule),and Madeleine Robinson's underwritten part:she barely appears ten minutes whereas she plays a pivotal role in the screenplay.Her relationship with her younger sister (Eleonora Rossi-Drago) is only skimmed over whereas it is essential to the plot. However,like almost all the movies Duvivier made ,it is a must: his pessimism leaves the viewer no hope : the last scene could be subtitled "out of the blue ... and into the black ,they give you this but you pay for that,and once you're gone you can never come back.." (Neil Young)

Reviewed by writers_reign 8 / 10 / 10

An Affair To Forget

In case there are any Literalists out there let me begin by saying that my summary merely refers to the fact that nearly everyone concerned wants to forget the Maurizius Affair but for various reasons are unable to do so, what the summary is NOT saying is that this is a forgettable film. Anyone who's read my comments on other Duvivier movies will know that I bow to no one (not even the extremely generous French guy who tapes French movies unlikely to be shown in the UK from French television and sends them to me) in my admiration for Duvivier and love of his work. Okay, it's bleak - at least this one is - but so is life, Charlie, and where else could you see quality actors like Charles Vanel, Madeleine Robinson - albeit underused - and Anton 'Tillie' Walbrook going through their paces. Ultimately this is an affair with no winners only losers and what is lost among other things like respect are illusions, perhaps the most precious gift of all. The shadowy, misty sets are reminiscent of the 'poetic-realism' school pioneered by the Prevert-Carne team and, of course, none the worse for that. On balance I wouldn't rank this with Duvivier's finest work but it's definitely the best of his second-string and should certainly be seen.

Reviewed by morrison-dylan-fan 8 / 10 / 10

"To accept justice without revolting,makes one a coward."

Impressed by Anton Walbrook's performance in Masquerade in Vienna,and taken by Daniel Gélin's work in the magical Rendezvous in July,I was thrilled to discover that auteur film maker Julien Duvivier had teamed them up (with the classy Madeleine Robinson) which led to me getting ready to enter the courtroom. The plot: Hearing about a court case that his dad was involved in 2 years before he was born, Etzel Andergast discovers that his dad was one of the lawyers in the "Maurizius affair" that was a major case which led to Léonard Maurizius being put in jail for the murder of his wife Elisabeth.Opening up the old casebooks and tracking down some of the witnesses,Etzel begins to have grave doubts about the evidence shown to the jury,as he goes in search of a mysterious figure at the centre of the case: Grégoire Waremme. View on the film: Caked in a scraggy beard, Anton Walbrook gives a great performance as Grégoire Waremme,whose eyes Walbrook squeezes shut and curdling voice cast an almost monstrous light on Waremme.Left on his own in a cell, Daniel Gélin gives a cherished performance as Léonard,with Gélin's giving Léonard's time with Elisabeth (played by an eye- catching Madeleine Robinson) an alluring quality,which is fractured by the Film Noir heart of darkness slowly tearing Léonard apart. Based on Jakob Wassermann's own book,the screenplay by writer/director Julien Duvivier smoothly blends the dramatic courtroom Drama with the impending doom of Film Noir. Skirting round the possibility of presenting the evidence in a dry manner, Duvivier delivers the case against his major theme of a brittle Film Noir landscape,where brilliantly pulled out flashbacks peel away at the horrifying miscarriage of justice that has taken place. Bringing attention to "flaws" in the case,director Julien Duvivier & cinematographer Robert Lefebvre superbly close off the witness stand with a charcoal backdrop which draws attention to the smallest facial movement of the person in the witness stand.Casting shivering shadows over the Maurizius's tragic past, Duvivier brings Film Noir to court in a dazzling manner,as stylish,layers of frenzied images brings the years he has spent in jail crashing down on Léonard Maurizius shoulder,who finds that his existence is on trial.

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