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8.0
/10
911 Ratings

The Crime of Monsieur Lange

Le crime de Monsieur Lange

Directed by Jean Renoir
France, 1936
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

After Amedée Lange’s maliciously charming boss Batala is presumed dead following his flight from debt collectors, he helps organize a cooperative publishing house for his hit Western serial “Arizona Jim” with the assistance of his lover Valentine. But chaos reigns when Batala suddenly reappears.

The Crime of Monsieur Lange Directed by Jean Renoir
MONSIEUR LANGE finds Renoir languidly tergiversating the exaggerated contrasts that characterize his early career: Batala is magnetizing (his secretary is passionately in love with him, and he counts Valentine amongst his previous conquests), and even the film’s tone strays from its ultimately jubilant spirit—see both the rape of Estelle and subsequent death of her child . . . and the titular murder, weaved seamlessly into the film’s rhapsodic fabric.
January 12, 2018
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Batala is easily read as a comic-opera fascist, and Lange as an unwitting working-class hero. The sense of solidarity is infectious. A current equivalent would be the mordantly humorous cinema of Aki Kaurismäki. But the spontaneity of an extended drunken dance by Marcel Lévesque (a comic foil in Louis Feuillade’s silent serials) and the joyously imperfect moving camera are pure Renoir.
November 15, 2017
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The movie crackles with life and incident, every nook and cranny of this little courtyard an opportunity for storytelling, and Renoir and his DP Jean Bachelet keep the camera moving to catch each development. This peaks in the final sequence with a brilliantly staged 360 degree pan that encompasses every floor of the office building and the entirety of the courtyard, ending in the fateful crime of the title.
June 06, 2017
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