“I always think about you.”
In turn-of-the-century France, when the moll (Simone Signoret) of a gangster (Claude Dauphin) leaves her current boyfriend Roland (William Sabatier) for an ex-con named Manda (Serge Reggiani), Roland and Manda duel for her hand — but even once this is settled with finality, Dauphin has further plans up his sleeve.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- French Films
- Historical Drama
- Love Triangle
- Simone Signoret Films
- Star-Crossed Lovers
French director Jacques Becker is best known for three of the thirteen feature-length films he made between 1942 and 1960: Le Trou (1960), Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1954), and this film, Casque D’Or — the only one of these titles listed in Peary’s GFTFF. While it wasn’t particularly well received in France upon its release, French New Wave directors embraced Casque D’Or, and Signoret won a BFA award for her performance. The movie tells a simple but atmospherically filmed tale of doomed lovers who fall for one another at first sight (with Signoret the most insistent and brazen), ultimately meeting a tragic end — but not without a sweet interlude of erotic bliss in the countryside thrown in:
The two scenes of explicit violence are handled efficiently and effectively:
… providing a good sense of what’s at stake for these lovers caught up in a world of gang-fueled dominance and retribution. Signoret gives a heartfelt performance:
… and Reggiani is appropriately stoic as a man hoping to simply live his life, but unwilling to back down from bullies.
Note: The film’s title translates into “helmet of gold,” and is meant to represent Signoret’s beautiful blonde “helmet” of hair.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Simone Signoret as Marie
- Atmospheric cinematography and period sets
Yes, once, simply for its relevance as Becker’s acknowledged masterpiece, and for Signoret’s performance. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.
- Historically Relevant
- Important Director