Therese Raquin (1953) DVD
SKU ID #325670
Though filmed once before as a 1927 silent film by Carne's mentor Jacques Feyder, Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin received a wholly original re-working when director Marcel Carne (Port of Shadows) adapted it himself in 1953. Carnes blended the theatricality of his revered Children of Paradise with the neo-realism of his trenchant pre-and post-war dramas into a film that bears more of a resemblance to James M Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and Luchino Viscounti's Ossessione than to the Zola of Nana and Germinal. Carne's "clinical injections of suspense" (New York Times) earned him the Silver Lion director's prize at the 1953 Venice Film Festival. Star-crossed lovers Therese (Simone Signoret - Les Diaboligues) and Laurent (Raf Vallone - Bitter Rice) think they've gotten away with murder after Therese's weakling husband "falls" from a speeding train. But when forced to contend with a blackmailer's demands and the mute accusations of Therese's monster-in-law (French stage and screen diva Sylvie, in a scene stealing performance), it's only a matter of time before the law, their passion or blind chance trip them up. Future Oscar winner Simone Signoret emerged from premature self-imposed retirement as full-time wife to Yves Montand in order to play Therese. Kino presents Therese Raquin - perhaps the last great Marcel Carnes film and one of the first to be championed when French critics rescues Carne's post-war creative reputation from critical limbo in 1980's - for the first time on US DVD, newly subtitled and ready for rediscovery.