Panique (1946) is a French movie. Julien Duvivier has directed this movie. Viviane Romance,Michel Simon,Max Dalban,Émile Drain are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1946. Panique (1946) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.
In the suburbs of Paris, an old maid has just been murdered. Every body talks about that, except the misanthrope Mr Hire. The same evening, Alice, just getting out of jail, arrives and meets up with her lover Alfred again. They act as they do not know each other, for Alice went to jail to spare Alfred. But Mr Hire falls in love with Alice, and he suspects who the murderer is.
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Duvivier, one of the all-time Great French directors, spent the first part of the nineteen forties in Hollywood where her turned out a string of first-rate movies (Lydia, Flesh And Fantasy, Tales Of Manhattan) but when he returned to his native France he did so with style and panache with this film, one of the finest French films of the forties and easily fit to stand beside such gems as Les Visituers du Soir, Les Enfants du Paradis, Adieu, Leonard, Les Portes de la nuit, etc. The source material was, once again, Georges Simenon who, at the last count, has had something like 170 films made from his vast output. Duvivier employed one of the finest French Screenwriters, Charles Spaak to adapt the story of the 'outsider' who is so easy to blame when things go wrong. Michel Simon, brilliant as ever, is doubly an 'outsider' here for in addition to being Jewish he is also eccentric and unsociable which, naturally, in the blinkered eyes of society, makes him the number one suspect for a local murder, especially when local good-time girl, Viviane Romance, lately out of the slammer and back with the piece of scum for whom she took the rap, plants incriminating evidence in Simon's flat. Set-up after set-up reeks of style and there's a nice sequence on the bumper cars in a funfair where M. Hire (Simon) is hemmed in by other cars, anticipating the climax when the crowd will surround him baying for blood and there's also a nod to an earlier Simon triumph, Boudu, in a scene shot alongside the bouquinistes that line the Seine. Patrice Leconte remade Panique as Monsieur Hire with Michel Blanc in the eponymous role and it remains a fine film but this is the version they all have to beat. A regular poster has remarked that he'd rather have this film than ten A Bout de souffles and I know what he means except he should have said Twenty. Godard is not fit to shine Duvivier's shoes.
Spoilers Just back from the USA,Duvivier was beginning the second part of his French career.His post- war work was relegated to purgatory for a long time,because of the snobbery of the nouvelle vague die hards .That this powerful movie has already several positive reviews is proof positive that there is ,at times,justice in the universe."Panique" means more to me than ten "à bout de soufflé". "Panique" is one of the best Simenon adaptations for the screen.But when Duvivier tackles a book ,he makes it his very own.Elements of his past and future work emerge:the fortune-teller and the predictions were already here in his American gem "flesh and fantasy"(1943)Viviane Romance's double-dealing(playing a double game) character resembles Danielle Delorme's Catherine in "voici le temps des assassins" (1956). A girl (Romance ,who portrayed a bitch in "la belle équipe" (1936)) is released from jail and she meets up her lover who has just committed a murder:he killed a woman to steal her money.But a strange man ,a Jew,saw the whole scene and he's got an evidence .This witness is masterfully portrayed by Michel Simon (who was part of the cast of "la fin du jour" ) one of the giants of the French cinéma. M.Hire ,the Jew, has always been a solitary man .He's never had a friend,either at school or in the army;he's been an outcast for all his life. Simon gives a subdued ,restrained performance ,as powerful as when he portrays colorful characters.The satanic lovers have found the ideal scapegoat ,and the whole town will have its culprit. Duvivier's directing is awesome :the lovers , talking about their future near a church where the congregations is singing heavenly canticles is pure film noir genius;Simon pursued by a madding crowd is filmed with stunning mastery;it compares favorably to Fritz Lang's "fury"."Panique" indeed !And the dialogue follows suit (the center of the action revolves around a fair )"I can stop the music",the fairground man says, "now the show is in the street".nothing will stop the crowds who want to take the law in their own hands. Duvivier knows how to grab his audience and he will not leave you till the final scene where a final clue packs a real wallop. Let this movie be an introduction to the other Duvivier films noirs of the forties and the fifties :"sous le ciel de Paris" "l'affaire Maurizius" and the incredible "voici le temps des assassins". Ingmar Bergman was rapturous about it. Remake in 1988 by Patrice Leconte,in which Michel Blanc and Sandrine Bonnaire take on Michel Simon 's and Vivianne Romance's parts.
Blind love... For me, this is just one of the best movies ever. Michel Simon shows here how gifted an actor he was. His character can hardly inspire sympathy, anyway you can only feel at least disturbed by what happens to him... the bad part is played by the crowd, merciless, depicted as a gang of sympathetic, funny, common characters... and how cruel. it's a history of common cruelty, of a disillusioned 'noone loves me'. there are some haunting scenes in this movie: the bumper cars, the treason(s), and... the terrible flight on the roofs... And Mr Hire who has build himself a shell, which he thought could not be damaged... but... blind love... Simply: Duvivier was and is one of the ten best movie directors ever. At least 'Panique' is the best adaptation of a novel written by Simenon ever.
Michel Simon plays with a lot of subtelty a very recognizable type of human being.Very modern acting on his part. The supporting cast plays in this eccentric manner that characterizes French cinema of this era and they are very good.Totally enjoyable movie.Great direction by Duvivier.It deserves to be a classic.It deserves to be on DVD.
Although sound and picture quality are abysmal, as in a lot of French films from the 1940's, I do enjoy watching this film for its acting and also for the message it delivers. A murder has been committed in a sector of Paris and all eyes are drawn towards a solitary old gentleman, a slightly eccentric person living in the neighbourhood who had had some contact with the murdered girl (but who is not her murderer). The main object of the film is not "who dunnit" but rather that of painting a portrait of human nature as portrayed by local residents in their attitude of designating Mr Hire, as the man is named as being the obvious guilty party. One can not but have symapthy with the poor old gentleman who is sweet as a church mouse but who, it is true, does have some eccentric habits. Basically speaking, he who is different from the mass is vilipended by that mass at the first opportunity. Thankfully in the end, the real murderer is found, but meanwhile, Mr Hire's character has been blackened ! A remake of the film was made in the 1990's under the title "Monsieur Hire". The original Monsieur Hire was played in 1946 by the great Michel Simon ( an actor whom I adore ). The Monsieur Hire of the 1990's was played by Michel Blanc, more known for comic or semi-comic roles but who nevertheless delivers an excellent performance for this role !