The Crime of Monsieur Lange

1936

Comedy / Crime / Drama

52
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 2,415

Synopsis


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April 3, 2019

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649.9 MB
1280*720
French
NR
23.976 fps
77 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.25 GB
1920×1080
French
NR
23.976 fps
77 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Void 7 / 10 / 10

Not Renoir's greatest achievement

Jean Renoir is one of the classic French directors and films like La Grande Illusion and The Human Beast show that. This film, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, is not one of the man's best films; but it's still a more than adequate example of French film-making in the 1930's. Adapted from a story by Jean Castanyer (the same man that wrote the story for Renoir's earlier film 'Boudu Saved from Drowning'), The Crime of Monsieur Lange tells the story of a man and woman that bed down in a hotel for the night. The man is recognised by the patrons as being the same man that killed another man, but before they can turn him in; the woman decides to tell the story of exactly why her man is a murderer and then let the customers decide whether or not he should be convicted. This premise offers an interesting base for a film, as themes of justice and morality can easily be tied in; but this is the film's main problem. While Renoir presents the story behind the murder in an interesting way, we never really get into whether or not the protagonist should be convicted. The film is left open ended, probably so that the audience can 'make their own minds up' about the events; but this idea is never really explored and it's a shame because it could have presented a very interesting backbone for the movie. Quite what Renoir's intentions were for this film, therefore, are rather quite muddled. The film is never exciting enough to be considered a straight thriller, the story isn't deep enough for it to be a deep and complex drama, and we're not presented with enough themes for it to be viewed as a cross section of justice and morality. Jean Renoir seems to have been too much of a complex man to have simply intended this film as a quick Saturday-morning style drama, and themes of living in France at the time aside, that's pretty much what this is. The actual drama in the film is good, however, with the actors giving life to their characters through realistic acting. Renoir's direction is as assured and as vivacious as ever, and you really get the impression with this man that he really puts his back into making films. This certainly isn't a bad movie; but it's not great either. Most people, like me, would probably expect a little more from Renoir...but it's still worth seeing.

Reviewed by LobotomousMonk 8 / 10 / 10

Quel Drole de Monde...

The Jacques Prevert-Jean Renoir teaming provides for an exciting tale of murder, mens rea, judgment and justice. The narrative frame introduces the story through straightforward exposition. Great depth of field and uneven staging/blocking of characters constructs a space unobtrusively in order to make room for the free interchange of political positions of everyday people. It is difficult to deny that M. Lange isn't a call for French citizens to become politicized, but one cannot overlook the contribution of Prevert to that end. Mobile framing is employed once Florelle's character introduces the past events that led her and M. Lange into the provincial regions. The mobile framing operates to connect lives that might otherwise require the conjuring of contrived connections by the audience. The fact is that these people live and work together - that is the essence of their connection, and for Prevert (and Renoir) such a connection is enough to create a demand for respect, dignity and autonomy. Batala throws a wrench in all that good stuff and provides the catalyst for politicization. Is murder condoned in this film or is it representative of the sacrifice that will be made to take up a firm political position? (a massive issue at the time of the Popular Front) M. Lange is all about context but in the most self-reflexive manner. Even the Arizona Jim storyline has a direct conversation operating within the French film industry at the time. M. Lange isn't anachronistic but for a contemporary audience, the concept of group responsibility has distorted and perverted into an amorphous hideous blob cranking up the volume of the latest tech trinket to drown out the screams of a Kitty Genovese in the alley below. This makes M. Lange a refreshing take on politics but a depressing one, given the contemporary spectator has the foreknowledge that WWII happened and that international corporate conglomeration (Batala's wet dream) has become so dominant that an Occupy Movement on Wall Street looks more like a corporate-sponsored Hoedown-cum-Pow-Wow... and just wait for the time management game version to be released on iPhone in the next three months. If M. Lange were real life in 2013 we can be sure that Batala "getting his" would mean getting the highest amount of profit participation and controlling the creative accounting end of things when the box office closes on the film's run. It is beautiful to see a world fighting for what is right. Prevert was unabashed in that regard. Renoir was fighting for something else - both more personal and universal. In a true Renoir film, Batala would have been a more complex character... likely something between King Louis in La Marseillaise and Dede in La Chienee. That is to say, his return would be announced and his escape would be ensured at the expense of some poor bugger's own life... in a kind of reprehensible accident. What does the 360 shot mean to me? I believe that it represents a political statement about the deferral of responsibility. The Lange and Batala roles are a clever reversal of the real issue... where do you stand against the threat of fascism that will soon begin stomping faces (which it did in abundance).

Reviewed by hupalmer 8 / 10 / 10

A good time was had by all..

Delightful! I'm a great fan of Jean Renoir, and I was very pleased to see this early piece as part of the excellent boxed set of 3 now available on DVD. It has its faults, but I love the way that he lets his actors "do their thing" and lives with the resultant somewhat chaotic mis en scene. The characters are great, with Jules Berry outdoing every caddish scoundrel I've ever seen on film (even including Terry -Thomas!). There's so much fun evident in the making of it, the rather slight fairy-story plot fills the bill perfectly, so it's like watching an early Hitchcock like "Young and Innocent". Lots of the same sense of fun finds its way into Renoir's later, more profound pieces like La Grande Illusion and Les Regles du Jeu, and help make those the more human by not being too sententious.

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