Deadlier Than the Male | Chicago Reader

Deadlier Than the Male

An absurd climax mars this otherwise absorbing 1956 French noir, which reunited Jean Gabin with Pepe le Moko director Julien Duvivier. Gabin, as usual a Gallic mountain of quiet strength, plays a master chef seduced by an angelic young blond (Daniele Delorme) who shows up in his kitchen one day and identifies herself as the daughter of his late ex-wife. Unfortunately the ex-wife is still alive, hidden away in a crummy hotel and braying for more dope. The French title translates as “Now Is the Time of Assassins,” but the English one better captures Duvivier's jaundiced view of women: even Gabin's dear old mother is a pitiless harpy who kills chickens with a bullwhip. 113 min. In French with subtitles.

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