La vérité (1960)

US Criterion Collection 2019 Blu-ray edition


From the great Henri-Georges Clouzot the director of film classics as 1953 "Le Salaire de la peur/The Wages of Fear" and the 1955
crime thriller "Les Diaboliques" comes the 1960 courtroom drama "La vérité". A dark and depressing film about a young woman on
trial for killing her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, but maybe really on trial for being a young woman with morals opposing the one's
held by the courtroom judges and lawyers, the crime journalists and the spectators.
Brigitte Bardot thought this film to be her best and she gives a spectacular performance, and Clouzot made her do it.

Brigitte Bardot plays 22 year old Dominique Marceau and the film alternates between court-room scenes and with flashbacks to what
happened, of how and why she killed her ex-boyfriend. She grew up in Rennes with her violin playing sister Anne (Mari-José Nat)
before moving to Paris. According to the narrator (maybe the judge in the trial or some fantasy judge for the viewers) Dominique was
a girl with slack morals, a lazy and sloppy girl who was without a job and preferred to hang out with other youths in seedy bars.
In contrast to her virgin sister she had Sex with everyone she fancied and whenever she felt for it.

I've no clue about the French judiciary system but it seems as the Judge in this film acts like a second prosecutor and does everything
to badtalk the accused, everything she has done in her life. Depressing and surely a judge wouldn't have acted like this, even back then ?
The lawyers sparring in court, Maitre Eparvier (Paul Merisse) and defence lawyer Guérin (Charles Vanel) are both great actors.

Dominique arrives in Paris and she immediately steals her sister's boyfriend Gilbert Tellier (Sami Frey), a musical prodigy, a pianist and a
conductor and they have nothing in common besides having Sex. But she's a free spirit and when she meets other men Gilbert is jealous
and finally he dumps her and everything ends in catastrophe.

The film is presented in 1.66:1 ratio with french LPCM mono audio with english subtitles, Black & White, REGION A edition.
Extras: a 60 minutes Documentary from 2017 on H-G Clouzot "La Scandale Clouzot",
an interview with Brigitte Bardot (19 minutes, from a 1982
documentary ), a short 4 minutes interview with director Henri-Georges Clouzot from 1960 and a Booklet with a text by Ginette Vincendeau