The Grangier of the Day

The Schemer




The first screening of the Gilles Grangier revival features a thriller, which the French director was a master of, but also a bit more...

Killing a man is long and complicated, and Hitchcock made it a directorial principle in Torn Curtain. A decade earlier, without fanfare, that skilled craftsman of the French crime thriller, Gilles Grangier, did the same in The Schemer (1957). But who noticed? So, you have to get rid of a troublemaker, but how? A gun? Poison? At the very moment when this happens, and it is a brilliant scene, one of the culprits, troubled by his action, in an agony that is too painful, with remorse fading away, is bleeding from the nose. "Watch the bloodstains", his accomplice states soberly. The scene is chilling.



The man who plays the victim of an operation that is too vulnerable is Paul Frankeur, an outstanding actor who bluffs the audience as a young first-timer. It was to give him a big role, finally, at the request of a producer, that Grangier embarked on this story of forgers, first called Reproduction Interdite, then, to make it more commercial, ‘Murder in Montmartre’. Never mind that the action takes place on the Left Bank, where the bohemian painter who becomes a great forger lives: Grangier is told that ‘Murder in Montparnasse’ would not fit on the poster...

Frankeur, a ruined art dealer who has been cheated and then taken advantage of, is brilliant as an exhausted family man, driven to crime. He dominates a top-class cast that includes Michel Auclair, Annie Girardot and Albert Dinan - a regular of Grangier's films. At the time of shooting, did Gilles Grangier, director of crime thrillers, identify for a moment with the painter played by Gianni Esposito, powerless to do anything of his own and reduced, by his immense know-how, to copying the great masters? We will never know…


Aurélien Ferenczi


The Schemer (Meurtre à Montmartre 1957, 1h32)

Lumière Institute Sat9 10:45am | Pathé Bellecour Wed13 9:15pm| UGC Confluence Fri15 11:15am | Pathé Bellecour Sun17 11:15am




Categories: Lecture Zen