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This film misses the real context of the original
on 9 June 2006
This is a remake of the black and white adaptation of Boileau-Narcejac's novel. The shift from the French context to the American decor is nothing but a change of settings and it adds nothing. But it is extremely well built as a thriller and this American version adds a clearly stated sexual relationship between the two main women, the plotters. It also emphasizes this feminine presence by making the « inspector » a woman, which is unthinkable in the French context of the 1950s. And this woman can become an accomplice in the final cover-up, the final assassination of the ressuscitated victim, out of feminine understanding. The context of this let's say prep-school for boys is hardly described and does not correspond to the original French school for delinquents. We never get this idea that the kids are imprisoned and that the school is a reservation for anonymous survivors ghetto-ised out of the social war that is raging outside. And that is such « schools » that both the conservative right and the socialist left are asking for in France right now to take care of suburban young rebels who call themselves barbarians or the natives of the republic, be they black, brown, grey or white, which does not in anyway matter.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Paris Dauphine & University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne