Thursday, September 8, 2011

Act of Love(1953).

Act of Love(1953). Romantic drama directed by Anatole Litvak. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Dany Robin and a very young Brigitte Bardot. It is based on the novel, The Girl on the Via Flaminia by Alfred Hayes.

After Robert Teller, arrives in a small town on the French Riviera, he reaches the Hotel Belle Rive, where he requests a specific room. Soon, a woman, who happens by, joins him at an outdoor cafe table, where Bob, tells her about the first time he visited France during the U.S. Army liberation of Paris:

After fighting in the war, Bob returns to Paris, working as a clerk, in an Army office. Bob locates his friend Nina, who trades his German camera on the black market so he can pay for private room. When Nina, makes plans to move to Cannes, with an American captain, she tells Bob he can rent her apartment, as long as he will share it with her friend, Lise, a woman who has lost her family in the war. Lise, is not too happy that they must pretend to be married so that the owners, will allow them to stay there.

Lise, can not find employment and is about to pawn her necklace when she is caught up in a police round-up, but.. she is quickly released. Bob, has been pacing the floor in hopes that Lise will return home. Now, a couple, they visit the palace at Versailles and later attend a USO square dance.

While traveling home by subway, Lise tells him that the happiest time of her life, was during a family vacation at the Hotel Belle Rive and dreamed some day she would return.

Bob, is forced to return to the barracks, leaving Lise alone on the dark streets where she is rescued by Claude, who gives her a gift of a German bullet hanging on a chain.

The next day, military police come to the cafe and Lise, is ordered to show her documents with a magistrate. When Lise does not return, Fernand goes to see Bob at his office and tells him what must have happened to her. Meanwhile, Lise is documented and released. When, Lise returns home in a daze, she is attacked by Claude, who grabs her by the hair and threatens to cut it off. Bob, comes to Lise's rescue and promises to marry her.

When Bob, goes to get permission from his commanding officer Henderson, he refuses, thinking that Bob is making a mistake and has him transferred immediately. Bob, jumps off the transport truck, but.. is caught and is unable to meet Lise. A military police officer agrees to call Lise, to tell her what happened but.. Claude interferes and tells her she has been used. Broken hearted, Lise, walks to a bridge by the river and is gone. Kirk Douglas, gives a unforgettable performance and the ending was very sad and moving.

Fun Fact:

Kirk Douglas met his German wife-to-be, Anne Buydens, when she applied for a job as his assistant on the French location shoot for this film.

Dany Robin (14 April 1927 – 25 May 1995) was a French actress of the 1950s and the early 1960s who was married to actor, Georges Marchal.

She performed in the films: The Waltz of the Toreadors, Act of Love(1953), Follow the Boys (1963), and in Alfred Hitchcock's, Topaz (1969).

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