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    Strangers in the House & Jean's Return

    Presented by at Harvard Film Archive

    December 5, 2011


    Strangers in the House & Jean's Return

    Strangers in the House
    (Les Inconnus dans la Maison)

    Directed by Henri Decoin. With Raimu, Juliette Faber, Jean Tissier
    France 1942, 35mm, b/w, 95 min. French with English subtitles
    Among the strongest of the late 1930s screenplays that paved the way to Clouzot's directorial career is this striking adaptation of a George Simenon crime thriller directed by Henri Decoin. An important companion piece to Le Corbeau, Les Inconnus dans la Maison offers a similarly unflattering portrait of provincial France as scandals and secrets tumble out of a town's collective closet during the course of the investigation and trial to discover who killed the corpse found in a drunken lawyer's attic.

    Followed by

    Jean's Return (Le Retour de Jean)

    Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. With Louis Jouvet, Noël Roquevert, Jean Brochard
    France 1949, digital video, b/w, 28 min. In French
    Clouzot’s first film after Le Corbeau – and after his forced suspension on charges of collaboration with the Vichy regime – was this dark and startling episode within the 1949 omnibus film Retour à la Vie. A remarkable commentary on a deeper type of postwar trauma and spiritual malaise, Le Retour de Jean stars the great Louis Jouvet as a former prisoner of war who meets his Nazi torturer one lonely night in a seedy boarding house, an unsettling surprise encounter that complicates the notion of a return to normalcy.

    Harvard Film Archive

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    Cambridge, MA 02138

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    $7 - Non-Harvard Students, Harvard Faculty and Staff, and Senior Citizens
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