La chienne (1931)

  • Web Code: M2221103
  • Other formats: Blu-ray Disc
  • Release Date: 06-14-2016
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Overview

Perhaps the most genuinely disturbing of Jean Renoir's films, LA CHIENNE stars Michel Simon as bank cashier Maurice Legrand. A symbol of shabby gentility, he's henpecked by shrewish wife Adele (Magdeleine Berubet), who compares him unfavorably to her former paragon of a husband. After the paragon turns up one night to rob the Legrands, his wife's chagrin seems to help Legrand's self-esteem. Not long thereafter, he confronts a thug who has attacked the stunning Lulu (Janie Mareze), a prostitute, and rescues her. Legrand is too dazzled to be aware of her profession, and the two quickly become involved. He's soon so obsessed with her that he starts to embezzle bank funds to set her up with an apartment. A gifted Sunday painter, he decorates the flat with his work as a tribute to her. Lulu begins to sell the paintings to galleries through her pimp, Andre "Dede" Govain (Georges Flamant). As the paintings begin to bring Legrand success, Dede persuades Lulu to claim authorship. When Legrand learns of the scheme he is angered only by Lulu's romantic relationship with Dede. Tragedy follows for all parties involved. Renoir's masterpiece of realism remains a penetrating study of degradation.
Michel Simon stars as Maurice Legrand in Jean Renoir's disturbing tale of romantic obssession, LA CHIENNE. A browbeaten bank cashier, nagged into submission by his bullying wife, finds a new perspective on life after stopping a hood from attacking the lovely prostitute Lulu. Becoming obssessed with the woman, he sets her up in an apartment. A Sunday painter, he decorates the flat with his work as a tribute to her, not realizing that she's romantically involved with her pimp, Andre "Dede" Govain. Legrand's jealousy has tragic consequences.
Theatrical Release Date 1931
Format DVD
Number of Discs 2

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times 09-16-1994 "...Among the best early [Renoir] films....[A] mesmerizing love triangle..." -- Critic's Choice
A.V. Club 06-11-2016 "[T]he movie introduces a lot of what Renoir would do in the ’30s, where he’d question -- with wit and insight -- whether the twists and turns of life are determined by pure chance or social station."

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