(This seven-part series focusing on film noir during what’s known as “Noirvember” will consist of 100-word pieces intended to be as punchy as any good noir screenplay.)
Quai des Orfèvres (1947) – Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
From the director of the suspenseful French classics The Wages of Fear (1953) and Diabolique (1955) comes this beguiling crime story starring such talented performers as Louis Jouvet, Simone Renant, Bernard Blier and the lovely Clouzot muse Suzy Delair (still alive now in her late 90s!), who has a standout scene singing “Danse avec moi.” Like all great film noir, Orfèvres has memorable cinematography: Armand Thirard, who later shot the aforementioned Clouzot films, was the man behind the camera here. Noir was not unique to American cinema; this particular film is proof of the first-rate filmmaking happening in postwar France.