La Chienne (The Bitch) (1931)
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as Maurice Legrand
as Lulu Pelletier
as Mme. Adele Legrand
as Mons. Dagodet
as Langelard the Art Critic
as DeDe's Lawyer
as The Colonel
as Amedee the Waiter at the Cafe
as Walstein the Art Dealer
as Gustave a Pal of DeDe
as M. Henriot Legrand's Boss
as The Concierge
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Critic Reviews for La Chienne (The Bitch)
The women's roles lack dimension and the bittersweet depth Renoir's later films explored so memorably. Visually, though, this one's gorgeous and extremely fluid.
All of the performances are close to flawless, but it's Renoir's unseen presense one remembtrs most vividly.
Audience Reviews for La Chienne (The Bitch)
this is renoir's slightly more humanist take on the same material fritz lang used for 'scarlet street'. he wasn't hampered by the production code so the mistress here is an actual streetwalker in love with her pimp who treats her miserably. michel simon is top notch in the role later played by edward g robinson and i can't pick my favorite between these two. an interesting sidenote: michel simon falls for janie marèse, as he did in real life, while marèse fell for georges flamant, a professional criminal and amateur actor, who plays the pimp. renoir and the producers had encouraged their relationship for the sake of their performances. after the film's completion, flamant took marèse for a drive, crashing the car and killing her. simon fainted at the funeral and blamed renoir for her death, threatening to shoot him. "kill me if you like", responded renoir, "but I have made the film"
A funny sort of film that opens quite presciently with puppets fighting over what the film is about. The last puppet gets it right: the film is neither a comedy nor a drama, and it doesn't have a particular moral backing either, except to say that naivete can have devastating consequences. What makes the film most enjoyable is the ridiculous circumstances that people put themselves in for money and love, and how fruitless it all becomes.
a jean renoir socialistic satire upon the petite bourgeoise..the storyline goes with an elder timid accountant who leads a pathetic life overruled by his critically dispiteful wife, he gets infatuated with a streetwalker one day then fends her as his kept mistress. unfortunately this whore is a miserable slave to her sadistic flanerie pimp, and these two discover the artistic painting talent of this dull acountant, thereafter merchandising his art as their fodder of luxurious living under her name. randomly the accountant murders the prostitue in a rage of passion, but the pimp gets executed for this crime instead. eventually the accountant becomes a shady vagabond on street. rarely known to most, edward g. robinson's "scarlet street" is fritz lang's adaption from renoir's french original "the bitch"....lang's approach centers more on the psychological interactive drama between these three. lang softens it by transforming the prostitute as a showgirl, the pimp as just an amateur womanizer, the sucker as an ingenuine who longs to live vigorously...lang emphasizes more on the mental trauma of guilt from the main character, thus it's interpretated as the personal tragedy of a romantic steer. as for renoir's "the bitch", it's social criticism: the pimp stands for the nouveau riche who lies upon the resources of the ghetto(the prostitute) to make his rising fortune by exploiting the bourgeois(the accountant), even including his soothing inspiration of art...the pimp drives his cadillac to extort money from the whore, parking his flashy roadster in the crowd of common people that hinders their daily function, coincidentally he arrives in the bad timing to be the scapegoat of the crime he hasn't committed....it's renoir's severe condemnation on the amoral nouveau riche. after the bourgeois' fund has been drained up, he wanders in the street as ragged bum, cadging small cashes from the merchandizer who purchases the last portrait of himself(his own work) in the antic shop.
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