Arlecchino Cinema > 14:15


René Clément


Tuesday 25/06/2019


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Pierre, a Frenchman on the run, leaves a cargo ship in Genoa with horrific toothache. He meets Cecchina, a little girl, and then Marta, her mother, a waitress with whom he tryes to forget his being a criminal and a fugitive from the law.
Au-delà des grilles is an unjustly forgotten film by René Clément, an underestimated director. A Franco-Italian co-production, it combines the best qualities of the two national film cultures of its era. It offers a neorealist depiction of Genoa seen through Jean Gabin’s eyes as he strolls through the streets, something which is without doubt the result of working with Italian screenwriters Zavattini, Suso Cecchi d’Amico and Alfredo Guarini. But this neorealist influence was evident in Clément’s debut, Bataille du rail (Battle of the Rails).
The film also shows the influence of a sometimes tart French poetic-realist style, through its dialogue written by Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost. The result is attractively sinister, marked by Isa Miranda’s luminous performance and Gabin’s frailty. The latter is particularly effective as an exhausted exile who glimpses briefly the possibility of a second chance. Clément had just produced a string of success including Le Père tranquille and Les Maudits (The Damned). Here he establishes an efficient contrast between the streets of an Italian town and the inhabitants of a French cargo ship; between shopkeepers and sailors; between policemen and children; between a man who has lost everything and a woman who has run out of hope.
Au-delà des grilles was one of Gabin’s few French hits in the immediate post-war years. Two million people paid to see the film. Isa Miranda won the Best Actress prize at Cannes in 1949 and Clément the prize for Best Director. The picture went on to win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1951.

Edouard Waintrop

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Cesare Zavattini, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Alfredo Guarini (adattamento e dialoghi francesi: Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost). F.: Louis Page. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Piero Filippone, Luigi Gervasi. Mus.: Roman Vlad. Int.: Jean Gabin (Pierre Arrignon), Isa Miranda (Marta Manfredini), Vera Talchi (Cecchina Manfredini), Andrea Checchi (Joseph Manfredini), Robert Dalban (il marinaio della ‘Flora’), Ave Ninchi (Maria), Carlo Tamberlani (il commissario), Checco Rissone (il falsario), Renato Malavasi (il dentista). Prod.: Alfredo Guarini per Francinex, Italia Produzione. 35mm. D.: 104’. Bn.