WHEN YOU READ THIS LETTER
A twist-laden and luridly noirish melodrama, this early film by Jean-Pierre Melville was a surprising box office hit for the maverick director, allowing him to bankroll his own studio. When their parents die in a car accident, older sister Thérèse (Juliette Gréco) leaves a convent before taking her vows to look after her younger sister Denise (Irène Galter). Almost immediately, Denise takes up with handsome lowlife Max (Philippe Lemaire), a compulsive womanizer and criminal schemer, who not only violates Denise but then also shamelessly makes a move on Thérèse, weaving a maze of double crosses, murder and intrigue throughout. DIR/PROD Jean-Pierre Melville; SCR Jacques Deval; PROD Paul Temps. France/Italy, 1953, b&w, 104 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
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