23 December 2021

Henri Verneuil's L'Affaire d'une nuit | It Happened All Night (1960)

Michel (Roger Hanin) meets his old childhood friend Antoine (Pierre Mondy) – who could almost be one of Francis Veber's Pignons (or Perrins) – and they linger a while with Antoine's lovely wife Christine (Pascale Petit) at a café terrasse in central Paris until Antoine has to go to an old soldiers' reunion and Michel drops Christine off at a shop but then keeps driving around as he wants to see her again. With Christine's help he buys a new jacket, and eventually he takes her home and stays there for a time, in love, and knowing that Antoine won't be back until late. Even when it gets to the time for Antoine to return he persuades her to go for a drive with him which they spend loving. They get lost, the car gets stuck in the mud, and suddenly it's six in the morning and they have to find excuses. It's been easy making telephone calls to Michel's wife about delays with a customer, but how to explain things to Antoine?

Christine has taken a turn (?), she's been raped (??) and she's turned up on Michel's doorstep (???): now who would believe that apart from a candidate for Veber's Pignons? Of course, Antoine doesn't believe it, he believes that Christine has a lover, but never does it enter his head that the lover is Michel! No, Antoine's leaving: does the Légion Étrangière accept Pignons recruits at his age? Not one of Verneuil's best, but highly watchable all the same. 

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