Saturday, January 31, 2015

Carnival Of Sinners (1943)

Starring Pierre Fresnay, Josseline Gael, Noel Roquevert, Guillaume de Sax, Palau
Directed by Maurice Tourneur
(actor & director credits courtesy

A one-handed painter tells the residents of an Alpine inn the incredible story of how he traded his soul for a talisman that brought him fame and riches.

Tourneur's film offers a very engrossing morality play from France I enjoyed very much, well-acted and stylishly presented with some innovative camera work and animated effects.  Although the concept of a man selling his soul to the devil isn't new and wasn't new on cinema screens in 1943, with The Devil And Daniel Webster having preceded this picture by a few years, the story unfolds in a fresh-seeming presentation.  Palau, as the devil, doesn't make quite the same impact as Walter Huston did in Webster, but the real strength of the film is in the beauty of the screenplay's dialogue and Tourneur's skilled direction.

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