Christopher Lloyd
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Reconstruction and retribution
Clouzot’s post-war films
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This chapter examines the four films with which Clouzot relaunched his career on his return to filmmaking in 1947. Clouzot's first post-war film, Quai des Orfèvres (1947), is seen as a continuation of his previous work. Its preoccupation with sexual marginality makes it a significant transitional film, which anticipates his work in the 1950s and 1960s. Quai des Orfèvres attracted over five million French viewers and was awarded a prize for best director at the Venice biennale, while a critics' poll conducted by the review Positif in 1995 ranked it as the second-best French thriller ever made. Manon (1949) likewise gained over three million French viewers and another Venice prize. It was an adaptation of the Abbé Prévost's classic story of tragic love, skillfully updated to the liberation period. Retour à la vie was about the problems of French prisoners of war returning to civilian life. The fourth film examined here, Miquette, deals with sexual exploitation, rivalry and jealousy.

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