Quai des Orfèvres

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Year Released: 1947
Rating: 2.0

Noir-ish story of lying, cheating and general ill-behavior among various miserable cons in Paris (must have been an epidemic at the time - see my take on Bresson's Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne or Duvivier's Pépé le Moko) that picks up significantly when the detective enters the picture to start cracking skulls (though his essential humanity is represented by a small African boy he's taking care of ... awww). There's a lot of sexual innuendo for the Neo-Freudians who care to search for such things, and Clouzot's creative flourishes are too refreshing to be ignored (like when a live orchestra - just in the background - plays louder and louder during a tense scene), but I have a hard time recommending a picture where I hope everyone gets quickly arrested and thrown in jail (or where otherwise questionable people have an astonishing change of heart and try to act like remotely sympathetic individuals during the last scene just to end the picture on a high note).