Thérèse Raquin

Director: Marcel Carné
Year Released: 1953
Rating: 3.0

A miserable housewife (Simone Signoret) who is married to a meek, dull dweeb (Jacques Duby, sporting a feminine name - "Camille") and persistently nagged by her mother-in-law meets up with an Italian truck driver (Raf Vallone) and the two have an affair - when the hubby finds out and takes her on a vacation to Paris to 'reclaim her,' the Italian follows and chucks him out of a train (in other words: don't cross an Italian in love). This is a solid, quite efficient picture by Carné - working from the novel by Émile Zola - about the burden of an unhappy life, the glimmer of happiness and the fall-out from making decisions, and all the characters are treated with an equal hand: the blackmailer is a jerk, but he has his reasons. Carné's (and Zola's) sense of morality is evident, but his empathy is ever-present.