In Case Of Adversity—Bardot (In 1958)

Thanks to YouTube I was able to see a film by the French director Claude Autant-Lara other than his mediocre Sylvie and the Phantom, the film being the 1958 Love is My Profession, or—a far preferable title—In Case of Adversity.

Bit by bit corruption gathers in a domain apparently created by Georges Simenon (whose novel is the source for this picture) as a lawbreaking party girl, Yvette, fights her own poverty through a spasm of violence and is defended by Andre Gobillot, a wily, now unethical lawyer.  Gobillot, though married, falls in love with Yvette, and the fornication begins.  Yvette, however, can be sensitive and affectionate but not loyal.

The film is a commercial piece with little to say, although its vision of life is tough (Simenon-like) and hardly divorced from quotidian cakes and ale.  It’s engaging.  The music is sheer Hollywood, but Autant-Lara directed intelligently, admirably.  Jean Gabin, as Gobillot, does little to own the role; he gives too many expressionless looks.  He is passable, though, but no more.  Edwige Feuillere is first-rate as Gobillot’s wife, but Brigitte Bardot (Yvette) needs more subtlety in her energetic performance.  All the same, of course, beautiful B.B. adds a lot to the picture.

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