DIRECTOR: Jacques Becker | WRITERS: Jacques Becker, Jacques Companéez, Annette Wademant (uncredited) | CAST: Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussières, Odette Barencey, Loleh Bellon, Solange Certin, Daniel Mendaille | France
I really, really liked Jacques Becker’s Casque d’or, a film set in the Paris of the 1890s revolving around the prostitute Marie (Simone Signoret), the “golden helmet” of the title, and the criminal gang her lover of the moment belongs to. Straight from prison and into her life walks Georges Manda (Serge Reggiani, whose eyebrows are the most bizarre I’ve seen in quite some time) and they click, but not without fights and backstabbing erupting. What I loved is how unsentimental, even cynical, the movie is and even though the movie is a romantic drama there are a fair number of honestly earned laughs along the way. Signoret is terrific.