The Widow Couderc | Chicago Reader

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Based on a Georges Simenon novel, Pierre Granier-Deferre's cynical 1971 melodrama stars Simone Signoret as a middle-aged farm widow locked into a long internecine struggle with her venal in-laws, who want to repossess her dead husband's land. When she hires a handsome young drifter (Alain Delon) as a handyman, the deepening relationship between the two becomes a point of vulnerability for her enemies to use against her. The film is set in 1934, and Granier-Deferre enhances the noirish plot with subtextual references to currents of fascism and the looming threat of a police state. In French with subtitles. 90 min.

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