Rue de l'estrapade | Chicago Reader

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Jacques Becker followed up his Casque d'or with this good-hearted melodrama (1953) about an auto test driver (Louis Jourdan) and his beautiful wife (Anne Vernon) struggling to come to terms with the husband's infidelity. Becker's reputation among the New Wave directors of the 60s was founded on his feel for character, evidenced here by the rich substratum of minor personalities: The husband's mistress, a well-known model, is so vain she insists on kissing him even when she knows they're being spied on. The wife's friend (Micheline Dax) blows the whistle on the husband, causing the couple to split up, but when he seeks her counsel she's flattered by his attentions and begins coming on to him. And a suave dress designer (Jean Servais) seems genuinely concerned with the welfare of the wife, but one isn't entirely sure of his motives when he offers her a job as a model and invites her to try on some things “after dinner, around nine.” 85 min.

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