Panique (Panic) (1947)

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For his first French film in nearly a decade (he'd spent the war years in Hollywood), filmmaker Julien Duvivier chose to adapt Les Fiançailles de Monsieur Hire, a novel by Georges Simenon. Panique, as Duvivier's version was titled, is a twisted tale of murder, subterfuge and revenge from "Beyond." Middle-aged loner Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) falls for his neighbor Alice (Viviane Romance) only to be framed for the murder commited by Alice's lover Alfred (Paul Bernard). The ending suggests that the actual culprits are going to get their well-deserved comeuppance, though exoneration comes a shade too late for the luckless Monsieur Hire. The Simenon book was filmed again in 1989, as the excellent Monsieur Hire, directed by Patrice Leconte, a film as bleakly pessimistic as the original, more in keeping with the style and tone of the literary source. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Panique (Panic)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

It is part shadowy film noir, part compelling character study and, most surprising of all, part powerful indictment of mob violence in general and the French character in particular.

May 4, 2017 | Full Review…

[A] crackerjack mystery.

Feb 2, 2017 | Full Review…

Duvivier's film kicks off in a realist register, then gradually transforms into a noirish romance of deception until finally settling into a tragic allegory of wartime collaborationism and the cruel madness of rumor, fear and and spite.

Jan 18, 2017 | Full Review…

a scathing postwar assessment of human nature

Feb 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

As an exercise in cinematic craftsmanship, Panique is essential. As a manifestation of post-war French guilt, it's indispensable.

Dec 28, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Panique is as vital today as when it first came out in 1946.

Oct 30, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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