Casque d'Or [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1952]

The Paris demimonde of 1900 is the setting for Casque d'Or. Georges Manda (Serge Reggiani), an honest woodworker, falls in love with Marie (Simone Signoret), the "moll" of minor crook Roland (William Sabatier). Gangster boss Felix Leca (Claude Dauphin) orders Georges and Roland to fight a duel to the death over the girl, as prescribed by the "code of the apache." Felix then pins the blame for Roland's death on Georges' boyhood chum, Raymond (Raymond Bussières), knowing that the woodworker will nobly accept the blame; this will leave Marie alone, which is what the lustful Felix has wanted all along. When Georges learns he's been set up as a dupe, he escapes from the police and kills Felix. Casque d'Or was based on the true-life Leca-Manda scandal, wherein an otherwise decent man was guillotined for shooting down a gangster boss in broad daylight. Since the scandal was common knowledge in France, the downbeat ending of this film was hardly unexpected but still extremely moving. Completed in 1951, Casque d'Or was a failure on its first release but then built up an excellent word-of-mouth reputation abroad. The film was released in the U.S. in 1956 as Golden Marie.
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Overview

Special Features

  • New, restored high definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie
  • 1995 video interview with actor Serge Reggiani
  • 1963 video interview with actress Simone Signoret from the French television program Cinépanorama
  • Excerpt from the episode of the French television series Cinéastes de Notre Temps dedicated to Jacques Becker
  • Rare, silent behind the scenes footage of Becker on the set, with commentary by film scholar Philip Kemp
  • Alternate English dubbed soundtrack, featuring Signoret, Reggiani, and Claude Dauphin
  • New essay by Philip Kemp
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

Synopsis

Casque D'Or
The Paris demimonde of 1900 is the setting for Casque D'Or. Georges Manda (Serge Reggiani), an honest woodworker, falls in love with Marie (Simone Signoret), the "moll" of minor crook Roland (William Sabatier). Gangster boss Felix Leca (Claude Dauphin) orders Georges and Roland to fight a duel to the death over the girl, as prescribed by the "code of the apache." Felix then pins the blame for Roland's death on Georges' boyhood chum, Raymond (Raymond Bussières), knowing that the woodworker will nobly accept the blame; this will leave Marie alone, which is what the lustful Felix has wanted all along. When Georges learns he's been set up as a dupe, he escapes from the police and kills Felix. Casque D'Or was based on the true-life Leca-Manda scandal, wherein an otherwise decent man was guillotined for shooting down a gangster boss in broad daylight. Since the scandal was common knowledge in France, the downbeat ending of this film was hardly unexpected but still extremely moving. Completed in 1951, Casque D'Or was a failure on its first release but then built up an excellent word-of-mouth reputation abroad. The film was released in the U.S. in 1956 as Golden Marie. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Simone Signoret
    Simone Signoret - Marie, Casque D'or
  • Serge Reggiani
    Serge Reggiani - Georges Manda
  • Claude Dauphin
    Claude Dauphin - Felix Leca
  • Raymond Bussières
    Raymond Bussières - Raymond
  • Image coming soon
    Paul Azäis - Ponsard
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