|Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin)|
The film begins with the arrival of a train that evokes memories of Abel Gance’s La Roue. But while the trains are beautiful, the beast inside every human is what is on display. Jean Gabin plays a conductor named Jacques Lantier who comes from a family with a mental history of being violent. He is no exception and he shows us that by nearly strangling a woman before becoming distracting by a passing train.
But he isn’t the only one to have the violence inside. There is a couple that carries out a murder on the woman’s former lover to satisfy the husbands anger. Unfortunately for all, Gabin sees they have committed the murder and loves the woman himself leading toward tragedy.
The film is beautiful to look at and Gabin’s performance is top notch as always. For some, they will find the film very moving and tragic. For me, I had some trouble investing that kind of emotion. Nevertheless, this one eeks out a recommendation if only for the gorgeous cinematography.