It Happened at the Inn | Chicago Reader

It Happened at the Inn

Jacques Becker's noirish melodrama (1943) is set in a rural village where an innkeeper presides over an extended family rife with antagonism and dirty little secrets. The innkeeper's son, a shopkeeper in Paris, returns to be married off to a young cousin he's never met, and his soft city ways earn the scorn of his uncle, a cynical poacher. Meanwhile, the innkeeper's wife is found dead, and police arrive to interrogate the tight-lipped clan. A substantial advance over Becker's debut, The Last Ace in the Deck, the film turns less on its mystery elements (the grandfather has a stash of gold somewhere) than its darkly humorous treatment of the family, a singularly unpleasant clan whose mutual loyalty far exceeds their love. Original French title: Goupi Mains Rouges. In French with subtitles.

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