The screenplay, based on a novel by Marcel Haedrich, tells two parallel stories, both age-old triangle situations in which a not-so-young woman throws over her elderly lover for a much younger man. The first situation involves three working class people and the second, three members of the Paris haute monde. The stories come together when the working class dame and her young paramour are brought to trial for the murder of the older man.

The screenplay, based on a novel by Marcel Haedrich, tells two parallel stories, both age-old triangle situations in which a not-so-young woman throws over her elderly lover for a much younger man. The first situation involves three working class people and the second, three members of the Paris haute monde. The stories come together when the working class dame and her young paramour are brought to trial for the murder of the older man.

By casting Orson Welles as both the tyrannical old construction worker who is murdered and as the cuckolded lawyer, Juliette Greco as the mistress in both situations and Bradford Dillman as the young laborer and the young lawyer in-a-hurry, producer and director have obviously intended to make some pertinent statements about guilt and the ironies of justice.

This irony, however, is telegraphed early in the film when the audience first is let in on the fact that the two stories are essentially the same. Another problem is that about halfway through, film’s focal point switches from the working class triangle to the problems of the upperclass trio, with the result that audience interest and emotional involvement are put to a severe test.

Welles is fine as the drunken old slob and close to superb as the elderly lawyer. Dillman is also good as the two young men, both equally opportunistic. However, it’s Greco who comes off best – whether it’s because of performance or the projection of a unique cinema personality, is hard to say. She’s all-girl.

Produced entirely in Paris, picture has a thoroughly French look and sound.

Crack in the Mirror

Production

DFZ/20th Century-Fox. Director Richard Fleischer; Producer Darryl F. Zanuck; Screenplay Mark Canfield; Camera William C. Mellor; Editor Roger Dwyre; Music Maurice Jarre;; Art Director Jean d'Eaubonne

Crew

(B&W) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1960. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Orson Welles Juliette Greco Bradford Dillman Alexander Knox Catherine Lacy William Lucas
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0