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Exceptionally good French B film noir with Constantine in top form
CET HOMME EST DANGEREUX, directed by the rather unknown Jean Sacha in France in 1953, is a top drawer French B film noir, and is the match, or better than, any other B film noir anywhere.
US special agent Lemmy Caution (the highly popular US-born actor Eddie Constantine, who made a career in European movies) infiltrates a gang led by the suave but deadly Siegella (Gregoire Aslan). Caution conveys his plan: to abduct a wealthy American heiress, Miranda, played by the curvaceous 19 year old Claude Borelli, and he is not shy to demand the then fabulous sum of $250,000 to get the job done.
Prior to that, Caution shows his assassin-like touch by dispatching another criminal kingpin who had killed a couple of his colleagues. The sequence is done in stark chiaroscuro and Tavernier highlights it in his JOURNÉE A TRAVERS LE CINEMA FRANÇAIS (2016), noting the interesting detail that Caution pinpoints the position of his nemesis by following the sound of the music played on the yacht.
The gorgeous Collette Deréal plays Constance, cold and professional enough to keep Caution's charm at arm's length, whilst attempting some devilish moves to foil him.
Action sequences are pretty good, the earlier ones better than the final shootout, and I also enjoyed the comic touches, above all when Caution tells Miranda to not speak in English because audiences do not like subtitles.
Photography and direction are excellent for a B product. Acting is pretty good, with Constantine, Deréal and Aslan magnetic throughout, and the script has some great zingers, even if credibility occasionally suffers.
I had great fun watching this flick and can understand why Constantine and his films were so popular in Europe in general, and France in particular, in the 1950s and 1960s. A well deserved 8/10.
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